BENGALURU: The High Court on Tuesday directed the Railways Ministry to persuade the state government to expedite laying the new railway line between Rayadurga and Tumakuru, which has been pending for the past six years.
During the hearing of a public interest petition filed by the Bellary District Railway Action Committee and others, it has come to light that Karnataka is lagging behind in providing land to the railway projects when compared to Andhra Pradesh.
The petitioner’s counsel told the bench, comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, that Andhra Pradesh has done much in the project and is taking steps on priority to acquire land but the Karnataka government is not. The project was sanctioned in 2007-08.
The counsel representing the Railways informed the court in an affidavit that the cost of laying the track between Rayadurga and Tumakuru would be shared by the two states and the Railways 50:50.
On March 18, 2010, The Railways had requested Karnataka to acquire 1,342.51 acres of land and also deposited Rs 44.41 crore to the special land acquisition officer, Tumakuru. The Railways has not caused any delay in the laying of the 206.53km track (102.63km in Karnataka and 103.90 km in Andhra Pradesh), the counsel said.
While Andhra Pradesh has handed over 433.38 acres of the required 981.23 acres, Karnataka has acquired just 48.26 acres of the 1,342.51 acres required of it.
Land owners in Karnataka are agitating against the government for non-payment of compensation, despite the Railways having already paid the amount to the state government, the counsel said. Hence the project is lagging in the state, he added.