Both the Railways and the state government have been violating the agreement they entered into in 2010 to spend at least Rs 600 crore each on railway projects in the state every year. The agreement is aimed at expediting the completion of the sanctioned projects.
In 2010-11, the state government released Rs 195.15 crore and the Railways released only Rs 371 crore in their respective budgets.
Some portion of the funds released by the Railways was channelised to its non-cost sharing projects. In the subsequent budget, the state government allocated Rs 487 crore but released `314.5 crore while the Railways released Rs 399.85 crore till March 31, 2012. Works planned during that financial year got spilled over to the next year and were taken up under the fresh budget allocation.
Though the state government allocated Rs 445 crore in 2012-13 budget, it has released only Rs 158 crore till January 31, whereas the Railways has released Rs 526 crore till now.
According to some estimates, in 2010 at least Rs 12,000 to 14,000 crore was required to complete all the ongoing railway projects in the state.
According to the present estimates made by the Railways, Rs 19,706.56 crore will be required to complete all the ongoing projects in the state and Rs 16,000 will be required for cost sharing projects.
Some of the projects, including Hassan-Bangalore and Kolar-Chikkaballapur have not been completed for the past 10 years primarily due to lack of funds.
It may take more than 10 years to complete most of the ongoing projects if the state government and the Railways continue their miserly allocation for rail projects in the state.
Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee member K Vinay Kumar said, “Karnataka is the only state to fund so many railway projects on cost sharing basis and to offer land free of cost for railway projects. Yet, we are unable to get funds and projects sanctioned on a par with the neighbouring states due to indifference of politicians.
“Eight MPs from the state are included in the Zonal Consultative Committee and I have not seen a single MP attending the meetings, whereas the MPs from Tamil Nadu attend the meetings,” he said.
“Recently Chalukya Express got extended to Pondichery and Thirunelveli. Before the extension, 684 seats were allotted for reservation from the city, but after that only 64 seats were set aside. Though we brought this issue to the notice of some MPs, none of them raised their voice,” Vinay added.