The possibility of obtaining environmental clearance for the most eagerly awaited Hubli-Ankola Railway line will be known within a couple of months as the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) is likely to visit the state soon to reassess the possibility of giving the clearance.
Expressing his confidence of getting the environmental clearance for the project, South Western Railways Chief Administrative Officer, Adesh Sharma said, “We have changed our plan after the two professors from the IISc gave their report.
We have agreed to follow all the recommendations made by them to minimise the damage to the ecology in the region.
The state forest department has mentioned in its report, which was recently submitted to the CEC, that environmental clearance can be given for the project as the damage to the ecology has been minimised.
The CEC is likely to visit shortly to see if environmental clearance can be given.
” According to Sharma the IISc professors T V Ramachandran and T G Seetharaman have asked the railways to dig more tunnels and construct more bridges to minimise cutting of trees.
They have also recommended the railway line be fenced on both the sides to prevent wild animals from entering the tracks and to construct bridges below the line at vital places for the elephants and other animals to cross the line.
The railway has prepared plans for the line in accordance with these recommendations and according to the revised estimates the project is expected to cost `2,340 crore.
According to the previous estimates the project was expected to cost `997.