MANGALORE: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu laid the foundation stone for the railway track doubling work between Netravathi Cabin and Mangaluru Central Railway Station through video conference from Delhi on Friday.
According to Naresh Lalwani, Divisional Railway Manager, Palakkad, Southern Railway, the Railway Ministry sanctioned the project to double the 1.5-km stretch in 2016-17.
The detailed project report for it has been submitted to the Railway Board. It involved modification of two road overbridges (RoBs). The project is expected to cost Rs. 28.03 crore. The Minister also laid the foundation for building a foot overbridge at the Mangaluru Central Station on the occasion.
The 25-metre-long and three-metre-wide bridge would cost Rs. 90 lakh. It would have a fully covered structure giving protection from the Sun and rain. When the fourth platform at the station would be ready, this bridge could be extended from platforms two and three to the second entry at the station.
The station now had two foot overbridges. The new bridge to be built would connect platform No 1 with two other platforms. The foot overbridge on the east side of the station has been provided with two escalators and two lifts to ease passenger movements.
The Central station handled about 31,000 passengers daily. It handled 46 trains daily with 44 trains originating from the station.
Addressing the gathering MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “We have laid the foundation for Doubling of the Netravati – Mangaluru Central Section and Foot Over Bridge today. After Independence, the development of the Railways was moving at the speed of a tortoise. But now the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Prime Minister Modi have given it the speed of a horse. From many years I had kept a number of demands with Kharge and the Railway minister when Yeddyurappa was the CM. They had decided to upgrade the Karnataka Railway similar to Goa and Kerala.”
MP Nalin further said, “Under Modi’s government from the past 3 years funds of Rs1500 crore have been sanctioned to the Dakshina Kannada District Railway. Mangaluru is included in the smart city list and under the Amrit Yojana Rs 163 crore have been sanctioned. Mangaluru city has been taken seriously and included in the medical tourism. Under the MCC limits, there are always protests against the Padil Railway bridge. If we strengthen the relationship between the PWD, Railway department, Highway and the MCC problems can be solved. Because of miscommunication between the departments, there are problems. Now the Padil Railway bridge has been completed.”
MP Nalin also said, “To upgrade the Mangalru Railway to International standard we need funds. The Railway department is not a profitable department. We need to work on a PPP model to upgrade the Mangaluru Railway. We have done the survey and got 60 acres of land from the Railway department. If we get another 40 acres of land from the state government or the MCC we can start the up gradation of Mangaluru Railway to International Standards. Mangaluru is a heaven compared to other cities in the country. In Mangaluru we have the highest temples, churches, mosques, education Institutions, Medical institutions, port, airport, and beaches. If we forget politics and work together hand in hand, we can upgrade the Mangaluru Railway to International standards.”
MP Nalin said, “In order to improve the efficiency of freight and passenger train operations in Mangaluru area and to equip the section for future, Southern Railway took up the doubling work between Panambur and Mangaluru junction. The total estimate for the 19 km long project was Rs 238.04 crores. A new crossing station between Padil and Thokur was proposed at Jokatte, as a modification of doubling, to overcome the operational constraints and increase line capacity”.