R L Dias forgotten amid Kudla Express celebration

R L Dias forgotten amid Kudla Express celebration

R L Dias forgotten amid Kudla Express celebration

The long-pending Mangaluru-Bengaluru faster train service was flagged off by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu through a videoconference at Madgaon, Goa, on Sunday.

As the dream of introducing the Yeshwanthpur – Mangaluru – Yeshwanthpur Kudla Express was realised, all guests praised leaders of political parties. Ironically, not even one person recalled the contribution of R L Dias, the president of the Udupi Rail Yatri Sangha.

It was Dias who had filed a writ petition before the Karnataka High Court in 2015, seeking a direction to South Western Railway (SWR) to introduce the train as announced in the 2014-15 Railway Budget by the then Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.

Quite interestingly, the case is still pending and the next hearing has been posted to April 17. On the other hand, the SWR on March 7, 2017 informed the Court that the Railways has taken a decision to introduce a train between Bengaluru City and Mangaluru Central before March 31.

Although Dias was present during the flagging-off and made an attempt to inform the gathering about the case, his attempts went in vain. Speaking to a section of the media, Dias said that although Sadananda Gowda had announced the introduction of the train between Bengaluru and Mangaluru when he was the railway minister, it was he who took up the matter before the court, when the SWR did not fulfil DV’s promise. “But for the court case, the SWR would not have acted,” he said.

Electrified section

Suresh Prabhu also inaugurated the 82-km electrified section between Mangaluru Junction, Mangaluru Central and Charvattur stations, the newly-laid double line between Panambur and Jokatte with a new block station at Jokatte and freight siding at Thokur.

The railway under-bridge at Jeppu Kuduppadi, Wifi connectivity at all railway stations, doubling of railway tracks from Nethravathi bridge to Mangaluru Central, lift facility, second entry booking office and repair of parking lot and road at Mangaluru Central are among the upcoming works.