मंगलूर Mangalore (MAQ): Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) urged Railway Minister D.V.Sadananda Gowda to double the Mangalore-Hassan Railway line to ensure “port-led” development in the region. Port-led development was suggested by Prime Minster M. Narendra Modi during his visit here on April 18 in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
KCCI President Mohammed Ameen and Vice-President Nigam B.Vasani met Mr.Gowda in New Delhi on Thursday and submitted a memorandum urging him to initiate measures to double the track.
He told that doubling the track would enhance transportation of goods and boost the traffic at the New Mangalore Port (NMP).
The measure would also provide greater connectivity to Karnataka’s other region – a long pending demand. KCCI and the port have been demanding greater connectivity to the hinterland. Less number of goods from Karnataka arrive at NMP – the only major port in Karnataka.
It may recalled that Mr. Modi, suggested port-led development in coastal States while addressing Mangaloreans at Nehru Maidan on March 18 as part of BJP’s election campaign.
At that time he was Prime Ministerial candidate of the party. Recalling this, Mr. Ameen hoped that the demand of the KCCI would get the much-needed attention.
He said what would further the cause was the early completion of the Shravanabelgola-Nelamangala section which would provide shorter route for Mangalore to the State’s capital.
He also demanded that Harihar-Kottur line, which is complete but rendered useless because of certain safety issues, should be thrown open to traffic at the earliest. Once this is done, much of the goods traffic, presently going to other ports such as Krinapatnam in Andhra Pradesh from Bellary, Hospet and surrounding areas could be routed through New Mangalore Port.
In Bellary, it is hoped that the region can hope to get fertilizers from Mangalore and transport iron ore, foodgrains, granites among others by rail to Mangalore for further movement or exports. This is also expected to link east cost and west coast.
On his part, Mr. Ameen said the KCCI team had met Mr. Gowda as the Railway budget was approaching. He hoped that the forthcoming budget would also have the stamp of Mr. Modi’s vision.