MYSORE: The railways are verily in a Catch-22 situation: pressure is mounting on them to complete doubling of the Bangalore- Mysore rail line by 2013; however, they may be unable to do so, thanks to delays in land acquisition. Railway authorities are running from pillar to post for land to initiate earth work between Mandya and Nagenehalli in Mysore taluk. As per the agreement signed, the state government should acquire the land and hand it over to the railways within 15 days after notification.
Wary about being offered inadequate compensation for their land, farmers in the Cauvery basin are not cooperating with the contractors. In fact, farmers in Induvalu village have prevented contractors from initiating work; some have even barred the entry of tipper trucks. Such being the case, the contractors are attempting to win the heart of the farmers to carry out work.
A bigger headache could lay in store for the project.
According to sources, revenue department officials are finding it difficult to examine records to collect ownership details of the land in question. The land acquisition, though, would be possible only after provision of relevant records and notifications.
Mandya DC P C Jaffer held a series of meetings with railway and revenue officials to acquire the land without problems.
Senior railway officials on condition of anonymity, referring to Union Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa’s statement that the project will be completed by December 2013, said that allout efforts will be made to complete line doubling between Mandya and Pandavapura, leaving work pending only on a 10 km stretch, between Pandavapaura and Naguvanahalli.
The line doubling would reduce traveling time between the two cities by as much as 50 minutes. It features sharp curves and 70-degree gradients; also, the topography is not conducive for high-speed travel as most of the track is on wet land. It may be pertinent to note that the line doubling work may have been completed by now had the state archaeology departments shifted the Tipu’s armoury located adjoining the railway track near Srirangapatna.