Bangalore: No one would have imagined that a project conceived by a Prime Minister would take two decades to move forward. The direct railway line between Bengaluru and Hassan, the hometown of H.D. Deve Gowda, is finally ready for commissioning – thanks to Union Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu for expediting the progress of the project within the last 3 years – said a ZRUCC Member, seeking anonymity of his name.
The 110-km rail line between Nelamangala and Shravanabelagola is complete and awaiting statutory inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) by month-end. A 14-km stretch between Chikkabanavara (off Bengaluru) and Nelamangala, and 42 km between Hassan and Shravanabelagola have been commissioned.
For the construction wing of the South Western Railway (SWR), nothing would be more sweeter than completion of the new line, as it had faced several hurdles including land acquisition, fund constraint and much more.
Chief Administrative Officer (Construction) Ashok Gupta told that trains transporting construction material are on track already. The CRS would conduct speed trial during the inspection, when the train runs above 110 km per hour to examine the track’s suitability. The railways can operate trains after he issues an authorisation, which may come a fortnight after the inspection.
The new line reduces railroad distance between Bengaluru and Hassan by 50 km via Arsikere and 87 km via Mysuru. Passenger and goods trains at present run via Arsikere or Mysuru. Journey time too will reduce by at least an hour. Consequently, the distance between Bengaluru and Mangaluru will reduce to 340 km from the present 390 km (via Arsikere) and 447 km (via Mysuru).
The new line connects various places of historical and religious importance, including Yediyur (Siddalingeshwara), Adichunchanagiri, Shravanabelagola, and Kukke Subrahmanya/Dharmasthala, and Mangaluru. It also connects commercial places including Kunigal, Hassan, Sakleshpur, and Mangaluru, said Sanjeev Dyamannavar of Praja-Raag, an advocacy group.
Besides introducing direct trains between Bengaluru and Mangaluru, the railways should introduce inter-city trains between Sakleshpur and Bengaluru for enhanced connectivity, he said.
The SWR should also work with CRS to ease speed restrictions on the Ghat stretch between Sakleshpur and Subrahmanya Road stations so as to run more passenger trains between Mangaluru and Bengaluru and other parts of the State, he said.