Kharge Confident on Projects in his home state Karnataka

Bangalore (SBC):  Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said all ongoing railway projects in the State can be completed if work continues at the current pace.

He was speaking at a function organised to lay the foundation stone for construction of additional passenger facilities and remodelling at Yelahanka railway station here.

Kharge said the State has a rail network of around 2,450 km, which is significantly less in terms of the area. Hence, the network should be increased to at least 4,700 km. The Railways has undertaken works worth Rs 27,000 crore on cost sharing basis to reach the goal. Many projects were languishing for the last 20 years. Therefore, works were expedited by providing more funds with the State government’s cooperation, he said.

If the agencies concerned fail to sustain the pace of work, the Railways may take another 20 or more years to complete the remaining projects, he added.

While expressing his inability to include more projects in the budget that would be announced shortly, Kharge said he is planning to announce trains to Vaishno Devi and Ajmer from either Bangalore or Mysore. Kharge also said the Railways will establish a Rs 12-crore Memuset near Banaswadi to stop MEMU rakes and to carry out maintenance. The government has agreed to provide 3.5 acres of Binny Mills land in exchange for railway land near Majestic. “We are planning to use this to construct more maintenance pits and shunting lines, which will help in building  more platforms in City railway station,” he added.

Kharge said he has already instructed officials to reintroduce the Bangalore-Miraj special train. “The government has to give us land near Maddur for the Bangalore-Mysore doubling project and I have requested them to expedite the land acquisition process for railway projects across the State,” he said.