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Costs rise as Karnataka decides to expedite old railway projects

This includes the long-pending Munirabad-Mehaboobanagar line that promises to significantly reduce the distance between Hyderabad, Hubballi and Goa
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 10 November 2021, 12:44 IST
Last Updated : 10 November 2021, 12:44 IST
Last Updated : 10 November 2021, 12:44 IST
Last Updated : 10 November 2021, 12:44 IST

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Karnataka will fast-track railway projects that are languishing since 2007 because of which their cost has almost doubled, Infrastructure Development Minister V Somanna said Wednesday.

This includes the long-pending 170-km Munirabad-Mehaboobanagar line that promises to significantly reduce the distance between Hyderabad, Hubballi and Goa.

Somanna, who reviewed the infrastructure development department, found that of the nine railway projects cleared since 2007 at least four have seen their total cost go up from Rs 4,446 crore to Rs 8,683 crore - a 95% increase.

“There's been a huge escalation in cost. It burdens both the Centre and state. So, we have decided to expedite the projects,” Somanna said. “In the next 15-20 days, the government will resolve issues with land acquisition and other bottlenecks,” he said.

According to Somanna, the cost of the Tumakuru-Rayadurg line has gone up from Rs 479 crore to Rs 2,432 crore, Ginigera-Raichur from Rs 1,350 crore to Rs 2,565 crore, Bagalkot-Kudachi from Rs 816 crore to Rs 1,525 crore and Tumakuru-Chitradurga-Davangere from Rs 1,801 crore to Rs 2,161 crore.

Another railway line connecting Dharwad and Belagavi is still in the works.

Karnataka has a 50% share in the cost of these projects.

During the review, the minister took stock of 56 pending overbridges and underbridges (ROB/RUB). “They are also languishing in Bengaluru, Tumakuru and other places. We have decided to give some shape to this. We’re releasing our share (of funds). Once the Centre releases its share soon...minor land-related issues that were being used as an excuse for the delay (will be resolved). The delay has made citizens feel disgusted,” Somanna said.

“We want to finish all these projects in this financial year as much as possible. We will review them once every month,” he said.

The state government is holding talks with Indian Railways authorities. “They were being laggard. We have sent across whatever message we had to and work will speed up from tomorrow,” he said.

Work on new airports at Shivamogga, Vijayapura, Hassan, Raichur and Karwar are on track, the minister said. “The Shivamogga airport will be commissioned before 2022,” he said.

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Published 10 November 2021, 12:44 IST

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