Railway Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, on Monday, expressed displeasure over the poor response of the State government towards implementing railway projects and blamed the ‘subordinates’ of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for this.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone for the platform upgrading work at the Yelahanka station, he said that the Railways was facing hurdles like acquisition of land and allocation of funds.
“The chief minister is making honest efforts to co-operate with the Railways, but the people under him are not co-operating. This is costing the State dear in terms of railway development,” he said. “If we plan any project, the State government should contribute its share of finance. If it is not done, projects will be delayed.” He said some have been delayed by 10 to 20 years.
“While the Kolar-Chikkaballapur line was delayed for 15 years, the Chikmagalur-Kadur line was pending since the 1980s.”
Noting that the process to allocate land for railway projects should speed up, he said he had also written to the chief minister in this regard. “If we had land we would have started work on the Tumkur-Davangere and Ramanagara-Malavalli-Kollegal- Chamarajanagar lines. There is budgetary provision for these works. Even if we get 10 acres of land, we will start off,” he said. The minister said that the State, at present, has 2,400 km of railway lines. There is a need to double it, he added. Kharge sought the State’s co-operation to improve the railway network.The upgrading of the Yelahanka railway station would be completed by June 2014, he said and stressed the need to provide road connectivity to the railway station. “If this happens, people from Hebbal and surrounding areas will utilise the station,” he said.
Earlier, the Yeshwantpur-Chandigarh Sampark Kranti bi-weekly express train was flagged off. The train will pass through Tumkur, Davangere, Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum, Miraj, Pune, Bhopal, Jhansi, Hazrath Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Panipat and Ambala.
On the Bangalore-Mysore track doubling work, he said, “We are considering to retain the single line, for about one km near Tipu’s armoury at Srirangapatna, while going ahead with double line in the rest of the section. There are instances of single bridges across rivers on double-line sections,” he said. The delay in track-doubling work was due to two non-availability of land near Maddur and inability to shift Tipu’s armoury. On the land near Maddur, he said he had spoken to Housing Minister Ambareesh and hoped that the problem would be sorted out.