Railway line awaits safety clearance

Nearly 35 years after it was first proposed, the Kadur-Chikmagalur railway line is completed and awaiting clearance from the Rail Safety Commissioner. The Kolar-Chickballapur gauge conversion is also awaiting safety clearance.

South Western Railway Chief Administrative Officer Adesh Sharma said: “We have completed the works on both Kadur-Chikmagalur and Kolar-Chickballapur railway lines and have initiated the process of getting the safety clearance. The rail safety commissioner will have to personally inspect the railway lines. It might take some time before we get the dates for inspection.”

The Kadur-Chikmagalur railway line, which is a part of Kadur-Sakleshpura railway project, was first proposed in 1978 by Indira Gandhi when she contested from Chikmagalur Lok Sabha constituency.  However, the line was forgotten till C K Jaffer Sharief sanctioned a survey for the line during his tenure as the railway minister. Though the project was sanctioned in 1996-97 budget, it was taken up much later.

The project was delayed due to lack of funds and so the state government proposed to fund the project on cost-sharing basis.

As the project was getting delayed despite funding from the state government, then chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda ensured that Rs 46 crore was released for the completion of the project.

The project has been completed at a cost of `170 crore. The line passes through Bisilehalli, Sakharayapattana and Kanivehalli. The Railways will lay the remaining part of the line between Chikmagalur and Sakleshpura in the next phase.

Kolar-Chickballapur Railway Line

The Railways undertook the project to convert 96.5 km metre gauge railway line between Kolar and Chickballapur more than six years ago. On the insistence of the then union minister of state for railways K H Muniyappa, the state government agreed to fund 50 per cent of the project on cost-sharing basis. The state government has released `158 crore for the project. The line is expected to become one of the major railway lines in the state as the railway board has proposed to undertake a new railway line between Chickballapur and Puttaparti.