Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Promises made to State not kept

Promises made to State not kept
DH News Service, New Delhi:
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad perhaps failed to live up to his promise made just three days ago that he would do justice to Karnataka in his railway budget presented to Parliament on Tuesday.

There is not much to rejoice if new trains or projects within Karnataka are any indication.

However, there are quite a few new trains going to destinations outside Karn ataka: two tri-weekly Garib Raths (AC trains with reduced fares) from Bangalore to Kochuveli (Thiruvananthapuram) and Yeshwantpur-Puducherry.
Lalu also announced the introduction of the Bangal ore–Machalipatnam tri-weekly and Yeshwantpur-Jodhpur weekly trains. The Mysore-Nanjangud passenger will ply after gauge conversion. The Bangalore-Coimbatore express will be extended to Ernakulam, Chennai- Bangalore Express to Prashanti Nilayam, Solapur-Bagalkot Express to Gadag after gauge conversion and Dharwad-Gadag passenger to Bijapur.

The frequency of Bagalkot-Yeshwantpur Basava Express will be increased from tri-weekly to daily.

Work on the Harapanahalli-Harihar section of the Kottur-Harihar new line, Bagalkot-Gadag of Solapur-Gadag new line and Anandpuram-Talaguppa gauge conv-ersion will be completed during 2008-09.

With the last project, the Bangalore-Hubli and Birur-Shimoga-Talaguppa will be completed.

The minister said regarding the Kadapa-Bangalore gauge conversion project, the state governments have come forward to share the cost.

Of a host of new surveys announced, Karnataka will have only one, that too partly – the Srinivasapura-Madanapalli new line.

The minister announced that following encouraging results of the pilot project of Anti Collision Device (to stop head on and rear end collisions between trains), the system would be extended in the next two years to three zonal railways including the South Western Railway. In allocations too, there is nothing much to speak of. Among the new line projects, the Gulbarga-Bidar line (140 km) has been given Rs 20 crore out of the required Rs 184 crore. Only Rs 5 crore will be spent for the Munirabad-Mahaboobnagar line as against a whopping Rs 451 crore more required.

Indian Railways will spend Rs 30 crore — in addition to Rs 60 crore from the Karnataka government — on the 65-km Kottur-Harihar line. Only Rs 10 crore has been allocated for the decade-old Kadur-Chikmagalur-Sakleshpur line which still requires Rs 198 crore.

For the Hassan-Bangalore project (via Shravanabelagola), Rs 55 crore has been given but it still requires Rs 116 crore. Funds allocated for the Hubli–Ankola, Banglaore-Satyamangalam and Rayadurga-Tumkur are too meager to mention. Among the gauge conversion projects, Kolar-Chikkaballapur has been given Rs 70 crore and only Rs 9 crore more is required for its completion. The Hospet-Guntakal line has been given Rs 21 crore and it still requires Rs 83 crore.

The 300-km Solapur-Hotgi (Gadag) line has been given a royal sum of Rs 5 crore – though it requires just Rs 43 crore for completion.

The Rs 608-crore Mysore-Chamarajanagar line has been allocated Rs 20 crore as against Rs 459 crore required.
A good sum of Rs 50 crore has been given to the Arsikere-Birur doubling which needs Rs 47 crore for completion. Another lucky project is the Ramanagaram-Kengeri doubling and electrification which gets Rs 50 crore. The Rs 96-crore Dharwad-Kambarganvi too has been given Rs 50 crore.

The Bangalore-based Rail Wheel Factory gets Rs 25 crore for augmentation of its Rs 99-crore capacity project. It still requires Rs 28.3 crore for completion.


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