It has been a long pending demand of coastal people, says Oscar Fernandes
Mangalore: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes has said that talks are on with the railway minister to grant a railway division to Mangalore.
He was speaking at a programme to discuss about the development of roads and implementation of programmes in coastal Karnataka, organised by Rachana – Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industry at Bishop House on Sunday. He said it has been a long pending demand of coastal people to get a railway division to Mangalore. “I have discussed about it with Railway Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge and is hopeful of getting the work done.”
Expressing displeasure over the trouble faced by passengers on Mangalore-Bangalore train due to the long journey, he said the railway minister has agreed to introduce a direct day train between Mangalore and Bangalore everyday. “But, as there is also a need to introduce a direct night train on this track, the issue will be discussed and I assure it will happen,” Oscar promised. He also stressed on the need to bring in more IT, service sector and pollution free industries to Mangalore, to develop the city and overcome unemployment problem.
On the proposed Nanthoor flyover project, he said the project has been sanctioned and the work would begin once the cable and water pipelines are shifted from the spot.
Assuring that he would put his maximum efforts to meet at least some of the demands of the coastal people, the Minister said that he would appoint an assistant personal secretary to exclusively monitor the progress of development works in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.
Later, answering to reporters’ queries on Niddodi project, Oscar Fernandes said that the project would not be implemented in case of people’s opposition. The amended land acquisition act has made the land acquisition process more difficult. The agriculture land can not be acquired for any projects, if 80 per cent of the local public oppose the project, he clarified.
Rachana members and Mangalore South MLA J R Lobo submitted two separate memorandums to Oscar Fernandes placing forth a few demands for the coastal region.
Some of the demands placed forth by Lobo include development of Mangalore-Bangalore highway on the lines of Mumbai-Pune road, extension of airport runway, upgrade NIT(K) as IIT, sanction central institutes, integrated tourism development plan for Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, Mono-rail or metro train from Konaje to Manipal, develop an international sports city in Mangalore outskirts to mention a few.
Mangalore Bishop Rev Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Rachana President Ivan D’Souza and others were present.