Delay derails ambitious railway projects in State

Reply to RTI query discloses stunted progress on new lines

The State has witnessed slow progress on the various railway projects, despite efforts promised by the State government and the Railways to complete them.

The State government, with its promises of sharing costs with the Railways for important projects and having a representative in the form of Minister of State for Railways, has not helped matters, according to information obtained through RTI.

Deendayal Koli, a resident of Rajajinagar, has sought information from the Ministry of Railways details of all the pending projects in the State.

However, the information provided under RTI does not reflect the true status of some of the projects.

For example, the status on the Kottur-Harihar line (65 km) says that work has been completed and is expected to be commissioned shortly.

However, it is a known fact that a small stretch of the line is yet to be completed as farmers, who are unhappy with the compensation being offered, are not parting with the land.

Dismal state

The status of other projects is equally disappointing. The Kadur-Chikmagalur-Sakleshpur line (93 km), which was included in the budget for 1996-97, has been completed only to an extent of 32 km. 

While 14 km more is yet to be completed in 2011-12, another stretch of 47 km on the Chikmagalur-Sakleshpur stretch is likely to be abandoned due to ‘low operational priority.’
The Kadur-Chikmagalur section (46 km) is said to be in progress and the 14-km stretch between Kanivehalli and Chikmagalur, according to the Railways, is slated for completion in 2011-12, but people familiar with the project on this section say there is hardly any progress and defintely nowhere near completion.

The work on the much touted Hubli-Ankola line (167 km) has been completely stopped as per the directives of the Central Empowered Committee constituted by the Supreme Court and the matter is now subjudice.

Another project that has flopped is the Bangalore-Satyamangalam line (260 km), with both the governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka requested that the project be dropped.

Problems aplenty

However, the State governments have not yet sent their reports to the Centre on their decision.

The project has been mired in problems since its inclusion in the budget in 1996-97 as it relates to the acquisition of forest land, something the Forest Department of Tamil Nadu objected to.

One of the other ambitious projects was the Yelahanka-Yeshwantpur line (12.07 km) announced in 2009-10 budget. Despite no land acquisition involved as the whole stretch belongs to the government, the land has not been handed over.

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