Friday, July 31, 2009

B’lore-M’lore day train still a daydream

B’lore-M’lore day train still a daydream
S Lalitha,DH News Service,Bangalore:

Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa gave a categorical assurance in this regard last month, after the railway budget, made no mention of the train service.

The day train promised between Bangalore and Mangalore before July end has remained a mere promise.

Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa gave a categorical assurance in this regard last month, after the railway budget, made no mention of the train service.

He has, however, changed his track now. In a telephonic conversation with Deccan Herald from New Delhi, Muniyappa only had this to say, “Very soon. We will try to start it as early as possible.” The Minister was careful not to mention a date this time.

Technical details were being worked out as precautions have to be taken against landslides along the Shiradi Ghat section between Sakleshpur and Subramanya, Muniyappa added.

Officials too were tightlipped about the launch date.

The South Western Railway had recently written to the Election Commission seeking permission to inaugurate the day train in the light of the model code of conduct for the byelections in the State next month. The EC granted the permission.

The railway timetable has been carrying the day train schedule since two years, ever since a previous rail budget announced its launch.

The monsoon launch promised this time round has put the Ministry in a tight spot. Already, the night train between Yeshwantpur and Mangalore has been cancelled four times in July due to landslides blocking tracks following heavy rain.

According to top railway officials of SWR division, “The debris from landslides during night can be cleared only during the day when the track is free. It will be really tough to introduce a day train at this juncture,” they said.

Protests by businessmen demanding a day train, held at Mangalore last week, prompted Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee to invite them to Delhi for talks.

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