HUBBALLI: The Commissioner for Rail Safety will conduct inspection on the new rail route between Bengaluru and Mangaluru via Kunigal and Hassan, from Monday.
The movement of trains on this route will begin once the commissioner issues a safety certificate. The 166-km project secured the green signal during the tenure of H D Deve Gowda as prime minister in 1996-97. The cost of the project was estimated at Rs 412.91 crore, which later escalated to Rs 1,300 crore – almost thrice the estimated cost. The state government has contributed Rs 450 crore.
South Western Railways public relations officer E Vijaya said that at present the trains between Bengaluru and Mangaluru ply via Mysuru and Arsikere.
With the operationalisation of the new route, the trains from Bengaluru would now run via Nelamangala, Kunigal and Shravanabelagola.
“This will bring down the journey time at least by two hours,” she said. The movement of the trains between Hassan and Shravanabelagola began in 2006. The rail safety commissioner will now inspect the track between Shravanabelagola and Nelamangala till February 10.
An officer of the SWR said that it was yet to be decided whether the trains to Mangaluru via Mysuru and Arsikere would continue to operate on the same route or would be diverted on the new route.
“There are plans to continue to them on the old route and introduce more trains via Kunigal. However, goods trains will operate via Kunigal. This will save time and money,” the officer said.