KOPPAL: Ballari district has been contributing ₹ 1,500 crore freight revenue to the Railways while rail facilities in general and amenities at some of its important and major railway stations, including Ballari (district headquarters) and Hosapete (flocked by tourists from across the globe) cities, are minimum.
In contrast, Koppal, which is a smaller city compared to Ballari, particularly population-wise and passenger-public travelling by train, is getting two escalators and two lifts at its railway station. Apart from that, four foot overbridges at Bhanapur, Harlapur, Bannikoppa and Sompur would be constructed, thanks to the sincere efforts put in by Karadi Sanganna, MP, representing it, who laid the foundation stone for commencement of the work last week.
But to one’s chagrin such a gesture from MPs representing Ballari is missing. However, vain attempts are being made by members of the Zonal Rail Users Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) and members of the various railway action committees for getting improved rail facilities and amenities.
Work on only one of the four rail overbridges for which foundation stones were laid in early 2000 at various railway gates in Ballari city, has been completed. As far as three other overbridges, work on only one has commenced and is going on at a slow pace.
When V. Ravikumar, representing the Ballari District Chamber of Commerce and Industry at ZRUCC, demanded escalator facility at Ballari Railway Station, the authorities said that as per the Railway Board norms, the footfall of passengers should be more than a lakh for providing escalators.
Comparing the developments in Koppal, the public opinion here has been that the elected representative should strive to get more rail amenities.