MYSORE: Apart from giving the green signal for the railway terminus at Naganahalli, which is expected to significantly reduce the burden on the existing City Railway Station, there were other proposals in Union Budget-2018 aimed at giving a fillip to railway commute to and from Mysuru. Among them is the proposal for electrification of the Mysuru-Hassan-Mangaluru line that passes through the verdant Shiradi range of the Western Ghats. If the proposal is implemented, the trains can run at far greater speed than they do now.
The ‘Pink Book’ released by the South Western Railway (SWR) indicates that budgetary allocation has been made for upgrading four railway lines in South Karnataka, one of which is the 347km-long Mysuru-Hassan-Mangaluru line. The proposal is to provide a sum of Rs 315.8 crore for electrification of the line in question that connects coastal Karnataka with Bengaluru. Increase in the frequency of trains has resulted in a spike in passengers along the route.
Mysureans also have another reason to cheer – there is also a proposal for electrification of the 61km-long Mysuru-Chamarajanagar line. In addition to these two projects, there are proposals for electrification of the 46-km Kadur-Chikkamagaluru line and doubling of tracs at Arasikere along the Hassan-Tumakuru line and the Birur-Shivamogga line.
Given the number of passengers who take the train to shuttle between Mysuru and Chamarajanagar on a daily basis, electrification of the stretch, which will make the journey a lot faster, is expected to have a positive impact on Chamarajanagar’s economy.
An official from SWR said that electrification of the Mysuru-Hassan-Mangaluru stretch was likely to be a challenging one. “Currently, all Mangaluru-bound trains move at a snail’s pace on the Sakaleshpur-Gundya stretch. If the stretch is electrified, we can expect some improvement in the speed,” he added.
Meanwhile, passengers want the electrification of the stretch to be completed at the earliest. “Although there is a direct train between Bengaluru and Mangaluru, the journey generally takes nine to ten hours,” said Shambu Shetty, a frequent train commuter.