Railways to help during vehicular ban period in Shiradi Ghat works: Railway Minister

Mangalore (MAQ): Railways is contemplating to provide alternate options to the travelling public in view of closure of Shiradi Ghat for six months, said Union Railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda at Puttur on Sunday.

He said the transport of goods would in alternate routes would lead to a problem to the Coast hence the railways was exploring the possibility of providing Ro-Ro services like Konkan Railway. He said this in reply to a query regarding the closure of Shiradi Ghat stretch on the Mangalore-Bangalore National Highway for all type of vehicles for six months from December 1 to facilitate ugradation of the 47 km stretch at a cost of Rs 155.18 crore.

In this arrangement trucks are loaded through a ramp provided at the dead-end of a loop on wagons which have been suitably modified. Konkan Railway provides this service from Kolad (145 kms from Mumbai) and Verna (12 kms from Madgaon) and Verna and Surathkal (20 kms from Manglore). But Gowda did not elaborate on the alternatives saying it was still in the initial stages of planning.

But Gowda may have problems in running an extra train since the HMRDC agreement with railways allows only three trains to be run and the quota is full, though train via Shravanabelagola is still not operational. If Gowda makes up his mind, the new daily Bangalore-Mangalore Express train announced in the budget could come as saving grace for the people here, if its run starts during the Shiradi Ghat vehicle ban period.