Hopes rise for rail projects in Karnataka

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa met Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the national capital on Tuesday to press for the completion of the pending projects in the State, including the doubling of the Bangalore-Mysore line and laying of a railway track between Hubli and Ankola.

“I am happy with Karnataka’s performance and I always give their example when it comes to implementation of projects,” Banerjee told Deccan Herald after her meeting with the Karnataka chief minister.

“Karnataka has certain long-pending projects and the chief minister has given me a memorandum. We will consider it and see what we can do,” she said adding that the list of demands has already been sent to the Railway Board Chairman for his comments.

The five projects where the State government has already released funds are doubling of line between Bangalore-Ramanagaram and Mysore; new line between Kottur-Harihar; Shimoga-Talaguppa gauge conversion; new lines between Munirabad-Mehboobnagar and the same between Bidar-Gulbarga. “The minister has assured us that the cost-sharing projects will be expedited and Central funds will be released,” K H Muniyappa, Minister of State for Railways, who accompanied Yeddyurappa, told Deccan Herald.

“We have earmarked Rs 243 crore in the State Budget 2009-2010 for the railway projects on cost-sharing basis. We have been requesting for certain new railway projects to be taken up. However, so far, the response has not been very positive,” the chief minister told Banerjee.

The chief minister also urged Banerjee to start the services of the Shimoga-Bangalore-Shimoga Inter-city Express, which has already been announced, but whose services have not started yet. Demands were also made for new train services, including Shimoga-Mysore-Shimoga Inter-city Express, Sholapur-Bangalore with AC coach, Bijapur-Mangalore via Gadag, Hubli, Arasikere and Hassan and Bijapur-Mysore via Gadag, Hubli and Hassan. The Karnataka government has also proposed calling of tenders as survey for new projects in sectors like Kudachi-Bagalkot, Kengeri-Kanakapura-Chamarajanagar, Ankola-Hubli, Thalaguppa-Honnavara and Kushalnagar-K R Nagar are already complete.
Survey should be taken up for new projects in sectors including Gadag-Haveri, Shimoga-Harihar, Madanapalli - Srin ivasapura, Yadagir-Shahapur-Shorapur-Muddebihal-Alamatti and Anekal Road-Bidadi bypass.

Railway divisional office

The chief minister also urged Banerjee to set up a Railway divisional office in Gulbarga under the South-Western Railways for better operational coordination and implementation of the railway projects in Karnataka.

“Karnataka is having 15.72 km Railway Route Length Density as compared to the national average of 19.27 km. As many as 81 talukas of 46 per cent area of Karnataka are not having any railway line at all,” chief minister said.

Budget on July 8

New Delhi, dhns: Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to present the Rail Budget on July 8.

The Economic Survey is likely to be on July 7 and the General Budget on July 9.
“The Rail Budget is likely to be presented on July 8. The ministry is preparing a status report to be presented before the Railway Minister. The report is to be submitted in a day or two and after that the budget outline will be drawn by the minister,” a senior ministry official said.

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