Mysore (MYS): The groundwork to build a direct rail link between Bangalore and Chamarajanagar will start this month.
Railway minister M Mallikarjuna Kharge will launch the works at Chamarajnagar, Congress MP R Dhruvanarayan said on Thursday, explaining that the 142km new line to Bangalore will connect Kollegal, Malavalli and Kanakapura. This came during the Chamarajnagar MP’s meeting with Mysore Divisional Railway Manager Rajkumar Lal to discuss the status of railway works in Chamarajanagar district.
Quoting the MP, Sr.DCM K Anil Kumar said: “The MP said the focus (of the new line) will be on completing the Phase I work.” This will provide an alternative route between Bangalore and Chamarajanagar.
This comes one year after the railway ministry approved the new line following Karnataka government’s pledge that it will share the cost. The survey for the new line was concluded in 2006, and it was then estimated to cost Rs 1,100 crore. Now, the cost has escalated to Rs 2,000 crore.
In the first phase, the railways is planning to build the line between Bangalore and Chamarajanagar as part of the 260km line project linking Bangalore to Satyamangalam in Tamil Nadu is mired in controversy. The project is facing hurdles, given that it passes through the pristine Satyamangalam forests.
Following the state government’s offer of financial assistance, the then railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on February 26, 2013, cleared the project, announcing Bangalore-Satyamangalam line. Of the 260km line, majority areas are in the state.
CM Jagadish Shettar had on February 8 pledged funds for the project. The railways approved it after Karnataka agreed to give land free of cost and agreed to bear 50% of the cost.
The officials believe that it will help spur growth in the border district and also take the load off roads in Mysore-Bangalore route. As of now, some 50,000 passengers travel on Mysore-Bangalore line. The number of outbound passengers from Mysore has doubled in five years. The traffic is projected to rise sharply as the track-doubling work between Mysore and Bangalore is nearing completion.
During his meeting with the MP, the DRM informed him that all works connected with the re-opening of Mariyala station near Chamarajanagar are through. He said that necessary improvements for handling of goods traffic of Food Corporation of India at Chamarajanagar will be over in a week’s time.
Dhruvanarayan asked the railway authorities to introduce an early morning train from Chamarajanagar to Bangalore, pointing out that it will benefit commuters from Chamarajanagar and surrounding areas. He also requested them to operate additional trains between Nanjangud and Mysore. Lal said that he will examine the proposals.