BANGALORE: It was a mixed bag for Karnataka in Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi’s maiden Budget. While the decision to introduce 10 new trains, setting up of a coach manufacturing unit at Kolar, a new railway safety training centre at Bangalore and announcement of new lines are welcome, the overall Budget fails to meet the state’s long-pending demand for an increase in the rail-network.
Though the Minister announced new lines, gauge conversion, track doubling and electrification, it remains to be seen how much of it will be implemented since budgetary allocation is just Rs 608.78 crore.
While the Old Mysore region has got several new trains and other projects, north Karnataka has been neglected. The demand for a direct train to Mumbai and New Delhi from north Karnataka has been ignored.
The Budget has also not spelt out any action plan for projects to be taken up on cost-sharing basis with the state government. The biggest disappointment in the Budget is the lack of mention of the much-talked about Chennai-Mumbai freight corridor via Bangalore. According to Prakash Raikar, president of Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association, “Development of backward regions rested on this corridor. But, there is no mention of it in the Budget.”