BENGALURU: The South Western Railways (SWR) has decided to extend some of the Bengaluru-Mysuru trains to Chamarajanagar to cater to the demands of those residing in these areas. However, the proposal to build a separate Chamarajanagar-Bengaluru railway line via Kollegal, Malavalli and Kanakapura remains in cold storage.
In order to facilitate easy movement of trains, platform number 5 and 6 of Mysuru Central Railways station will be linked to the Chamarajanagar line. SWR has cleared paper work and work is expected to begin in July. It was supposed to begin in 2016, but was later put on hold. Once it is over, trains coming from Bengaluru will be extended to Chamarajanagar .
Hemanth Kumar, a regular commuter, told “Extending some more trains to Chamarajanagar, which come from Bengaluru, will be helpful for the passengers. However, the people here want the work on Malavalli line to begin, as it would connect Chamarajanagar with Kanakapura and Kollegal. Hope SWR will take up this project at the earliest.”
The proposed railway line got approval during the UPA government, however, it has remained on paper. A survey for the line was done in 2006 and the estimated cost back then was Rs 1,382 crore. However, in the last budget it got a meagre funding of Rs 10 crore.
“This project has entered the railway department’s ‘Pink Book’. Once the Rail Budget is passed, ‘Pink Book’ becomes the authority to start preliminary works related to the project. But the allocation of expenditure on various heads of accounts for the project has been delayed. The main reason is because the state government has not shown much interest. The new move to extend some trains to Chamarajanagar will be helpful to passengers,” said Yogendra, railway activist.
A railways source told that though the state government had agreed to provide land free of cost and bear 50 per cent of the expenditure, they have not shown any interest to develop the project. Taking into account cost escalation, Rs 2,500 crore will be required to complete the project.