Proposals for New Zones and Divisions unviable at this juncture, tells Kharge

Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said on Thursday that there are proposals before the Railway Ministry to create new zones or divisions in the country.  Though the ministry has received number of representations to create separate zones and divisions, at this juncture, the ministry has decided to reject all demands citing financial constraints.

Speaking to reporters he said the ministry also rejected the demand of creating new divisions at Gulbarga and Mangalore also. A committee comprising officials of the Railway Board, which studied the demands for creating new divisions and zones, has submitted a report rejecting creating any new zones or divisions in the country.

He added that there should be a sufficient number of railways lines required for creating separate divisions for a particular area. In both Gulbarga and Mangalore, the number of railway lines are also less than the required, he said. When asked about the merger of Mangalore with Konkan Railway, the Minister said the issue is pending as elected representatives of Kerala are opposed to separating Mangalore from Palakkad Division of Southern Railway.

On the issue of sharing costs by Karnataka for building pending railway projects in the state, he said that the Railway has kept Rs 650 crore for the pending projects in Karnataka in the current financial year, of which Rs 310 crore spent so far. However, Karnataka has released only Rs 50 crore so far from its share in this fiscal.

On the long pending Bangalore–Mysore railway line doubling works, the Minister said the government should take immediate steps to acquire required land near Maddur and shifting of Tippu Sultan armory near Srirangapatna, he said.

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