Hubballi-Ankola railway line project awaits Supreme Court nod

Karwar: “The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has submitted its report on the Hubballi-Ankola railway project. Soon, the Supreme Court will be approached for kick starting the project keeping in view the necessary modifications which have to be made based on this report”, informed Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu here on Monday.

Speaking to media persons in Karwar, Mr Prabhu said that the CEC report has mentioned about the elephant corridor and other environmental issues. The government is ready to implement the project without causing much harm to the forests, elephant corridor or any other biodiversity element. The work will begin as soon as the Supreme Court shows green signal.

He expressed happiness that the railway budget has been showing good results. “Target was set for annual; revenue collection of Rs 8,000 crore for strengthening the railways. But already, Rs 1, 500 crore revenue has been collected. There has been a rise in good transportation. Emphasis is being laid on railway safety and cleanliness. There are plans to make compost of the waste collected in the railway”, he said.

He informed that he is visiting all the railway stations in the country to inspect cleanliness and other facilities. A facility in Konkan Railway is very important as its potential tourist destination. He also expressed that they have plans to run trains keeping in view the tourists spots. Mr Prabhu said that the steps will be taken to upgrade the railway stations on the Konkan route and to introduce double line in Konkan.

He said that the auto rickshaw and taxi drivers at Konkan railway stations have been given training on how to behave with tourists. Target has been set up to provide self-employment to nearly 10,000 people and presently 1,000 people have been employed.

Speaking about railway connectivity to ports, Mr Prabhu said that that Belekeri and Tadadi ports in Uttara Kannada district must be developed like Gujarat with private partnership.