Demand grows for Mangaluru region’s merger with Konkan Railway

Only then coastal Karnataka could see development: KCCI
G. Hanumanth Kamath from Paschima Karavali Rail Yatri Abhivriddhi Samithi submitting a memorandum to Ivan D'Souza, MLC, at the railway adalat organised by the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mangaluru on Sunday
G. Hanumanth Kamath from Paschima Karavali Rail Yatri Abhivriddhi Samithi submitting a memorandum to Ivan D’Souza, MLC, at the railway adalat organised by the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mangaluru on Sunday

Mangalore (MAQ): Kanara Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Sunday May 24 organized ‘Railway Adalath’ at its meeting hall here. Ironically, officials of the railway department, Konkan Railway and Palakkad division were absent.

MLC Ivan D’Souza chaired the ‘Railway Adalath’ and discussed various development works regarding railway facilities in the district.  Participants at a railway adalat organised by the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Sunday have stressed the need for merging the Mangaluru railway region with Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd., for the overall development of coastal Karnataka.

While MLC and Karnataka government’s representative to Southern Railway Ivan D’Souza reiterated the wish of the people of the region, KCCI representative to Southern Railway and Konkan Railway, Mohandas Prabhu, said it was high time the original plan of KRCL was brought into action.

The detailed project report prepared by E. Sridharan, Mr. Prabhu said, had fixed the southern boundary of KRCL at Ullal and not at Thokur. “New Mangalore Port Trust alone contributes around 42 percent of the total profit of Palghat railway division. Mangaluru should come under Konkan Railway Corporation which facilitates development works. This will be helpful in materializing the dream of making Mangaluru Central a world-class railway station.  The NMPT is providing more than 80 per cent of the revenue to Southern Railway’s Palakkad division. If that region is brought under KRCL, it would have enough resources to double and electrify the Mangaluru-Mumbai (Thokur-Panvel) line thereby heralding overall economic development of the region, Mr. Prabhu said.

Udupi Railway Yatri Sangha President R.L.Dias suggested taking up new line survey between Nandikur-Karkala-Charmadi-Mudigere-Belur-Hassan so as to avoid Shiradi Ghat. Present restrictions on train operations on the ghat has been affecting introduction of new trains, he said.  “Inter-city train plying from the city should be extended till Vasco and the schedule should be changed. The train runs on loss due to shortage of passengers and its inconvenient timings,” he further added.

Activist Hanumanth Kamath urged to restore the Mahalakshmi Express train which was plying towards Meeraj. The train has been stopped presently.

Mr. D’Souza said he would strive hard to get the demands addressed at various levels of the railways and the State government. He threatened to cut basic supplies to Mangaluru Junction Railway Station if the Southern Railway did not allow setting up of a prepaid autorickshaw counter within a fortnight. Oliver D’Souza said, “If there is any inconvenience in Konkan Railways like water and food, passengers can inform about it by SMS to 9004470700. In case of emergency, passengers can contact on 9004470730.”

Referring to the absence of railway officials at the adalat, he said he would propose action against them . The government was providing free land and half the costs for new projects and the officials were accountable to State too, said. Issues such as speeding up of Karwar-Mangaluru-Bengaluru night train, introducing more trains between Mangaluru-Bengaluru and Mangaluru-Mumbai too were raised. Responding to the various issues raised during the Adalath, MLC Ivan D’Souza said that he would involve himself in implementing the projects which have been passed in the recent budget. He also said that he would raise the problems of the railways pertaining to district in the Assembly as well in Southern Railway consultative committee meetings.

Mumbain Railway Yatri Sangha Executive Secretary Oliver D’Souza, Paschima Karavali Railway Yatri Abhivriddhi Samithi President G. Hanumanth Kamath, KCCI president Nigam Vasani and Vice President Rammohan Pai Maroor and others were present.

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