Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said that he will work faster than the state government to complete all pending railway projects as he has only ten months before his term ends.
He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for the Hospet-Tinaighat railway doubling project at Londa near here on Saturday. Kharge said that the state government’s cooperation is indispensable for taking up railway projects in the state. He said the state government should settle all problems related to the handover of required land for the projects.
The minister said that he will allocate an additional sum of `300 crore for the next year, if the state government provides `300 crore for the pending projects.
Kharge said that he will not put off any fixed of programmes as the cost of projects will escalate if the works are delayed.
Kharge referred to Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s feat of scoring 16 runs in three balls in the last over of the recent triangular series final against Sri Lanka.
“I will work like Dhoni and complete all the pending projects in the remaining ten months,’ he said.
Kharge said that 60 railway over bridges will be constructed in the state and 15 of them will be completed in the current year.
The work of laying a uni-line between Jammu and Pondicherry has started and a similar line between Kanyakumari and Jammu has also been proposed.
Train service between Katra in Jammu, where Vaishnodevi temple is located and New Delhi will be started from August 15, the Union railway minister said.
He remarked that development-oriented UPA government has completed 90 per cent of the railway work.
On a Hubli-Ankola railway line, Kharge said that the project approval would take at least three-four years.
Run Train Up to Miraj: Jarkiholi
District in-charge minister Satish Jarkiholi urged Kharge to extend the Mysore-Dharwad train upto Miraj.
Jarkiholi said that Karnataka has the Railways portfolio 20 years after stint of Jaffer Sharief.
The minister said that Kharge should work for the interests of the state, as he did when he was the Union Labour Minister.
Jarkiholi said that though Kharge has approximately 10 months left in office, the state has many expectations from him.
The Minister hoped that the state would not be disappointed.
Sharief gave much to the state when he was the Railways Minister from 1991-95 and conversion of tracks to broad gauge was done in his term, Jarkiholi added.
Minister Seeks New Trains
Sugar Minister Prakash Hukkeri urged Kharge to fulfil all demands related to the state, before the end of his term.
Hukkeri said that Kharge should give priority to pending railway projects and commence work on them. Hukkeri, who is instrumental in starting the Sampark Kranti train between Miraj and Yeshwantpur, said that the train should run daily instead of three days a week. The train should stop at least for two minutes at Khanapur station, he said.
Deshpade’s Focus on Rail Work
Hukkeri also urged Kharge to introduce a service between Dharwad and Kolhapur via Belgaum and Nippani, along the National Highway.
The minister thanked Kharge for sanctioning `9 crore to construct railway over-bridges in Belgaum and for providing an A/C coach to the Sampark Kranti Express.
Speaking on the occasion, Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande said that transportation of iron ore on road from Bellary had affected the environment adversely.
The doubling of the railway line will help sustain the environment as the iron ore can be transported in trains to Goa, he said.
New Tumkur-B’lore Train Service
Tumkur: Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun M Kharge promised a new train between Tumkur and Bangalore to facilitate the daily commuters. It will either be an express or a fast passenger train which will stop at 2-3 stations between the two cities. In his brief stopover on his sojourn to Londa, he interacted with the members of the Daily Commuters Forum, led by Tumkur MP G S Basavaraju. “A new train would be run which starts from Tumkur at 8 am as soon as possible,” he said. He also promised upgrading platforms, a railway underpass and a skywalk in the city, all in a phased manner. About 8,000 passengers, including 4,500 people with season tickets, travel between the two cities daily. Hitherto, they were travelling in the Sholapur-Bangalore Kurkure Express which would arrive here at 8.30 am. They were affected as the time of the train was rescheduled.