B'lore-M'lore-Chennai railway corridor on the cards, says DVS

B'lore-M'lore-Chennai railway corridor on the cards, says DVS

Union Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said on Sunday that his ministry was contemplating Bangalore-Mangalore-Chennai corridor to transport coal for electricity generation and ensure coastal connectivity.

At a press conference here, Gowda said the issue was discussed at a meeting with railway officials and former railway ministers on Sunday morning. “I am for it, but when I can implement it is yet to be decided. This corridor, I am told, is needed for coal transportation. I am new to the ministry, give me 50 days to understand everything and prioritise what is needed,” he said 

Speaking about former railway minister M Mallikarjun Kharge’s proposal to increase fares, he said: “If I do not increase the fares, then media will criticise me saying that I am blocking Kharge’s decision. The BJP government is pro-people and all decisions will be taken keeping in mind the safety of and service to passengers, not political parties and individuals.” 

Gowda said railway officials gave him a list of Karnataka’s demands during the meeting. “I would have to use the entire railway budget to meet the state’s demands. Or it will take another 50 years to improve rail connectivity in Karnataka as there are many demands and problems, especially the Bangalore-Mysore track doubling and electrification. So, I will prioritise according to what the state needs immediately.” 

He said that because of increasing number of accidents, a technical committee comprising experts like former Delhi Metro managing director E Sreedharan was being formed. The Railway minister stressed that e-ticketing is the need of the hour. There is a huge rush at all stations to get a morning train ticket. There are many racketeers making brisk business. To address this menace, a new software will soon be launched, he said.Sub-urban rail

During its regime in the state, the BJP had proposed for a sub-urban rail network, with 50 per cent partnership by the state government. Bangalore has four radial routes (running directly from the city centre to outer areas) connecting all the four sides of the City. This should be prioritised in the railway budget, said an official from Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar's office. Kumar was present at the meeting Gowda held with railway officials.

Interestingly, Gowda made it a point to visit former railway minister Jaffer Sharief at his residence in Bangalore and sought his suggestions. Sharief, who was the Congress MP from Bangalore Central is credited with modernising the railways, including converting railway lines into unigauge across the country. 

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