BANGALORE: Due to financial constraints, the Karnataka government has sought a re-look into the cost-sharing ratio for railway projects. The state government has sought a reduction of its share from the present 50 per cent to 33 per cent.
In a letter to Union Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, Chief minister Siddaramaiah appealed to him to reconsider the agreements already signed with the state government.
“I strongly urge you to take up these projects either fully at the cost of the ministry of Railways or agree to a 2/3 and 1/3 cost-sharing pattern,” he stated in his letter to Gowda before the Railway Budget was presented. The CM also appealed to Gowda to consider including the cost of land acquisition in the total project estimate while deciding the state’s share.
“Major railway infrastructure projects like coach and locomotive factories could come up purely as Government of India investments,” the CM said. Siddaramaiah also urged Gowda to put the high speed rail connectivity between Mysore and Bangalore on a “high pedestal.” Taking strong exception on the Chief Minister’s letter to the Union Minister, Opposition BJP leader K S Eshwarappa moved an adjournment motion seeking a detailed discussion on the issue in the Council.
Making his submission, Eshwarappa said, “The CM’s decision will hamper on-going railway projects being taken up in the state on cost-sharing bases.”
House leader S R Patil, intervening on the issue said, “The CM has not opposed cost-sharing of railway projects and has only made some suggestions.” Patil said the government was ready for a debate on the issue, adding that it could be taken up for discussion on Wednesday.
Chairman D H Shankaramurthy said he would allow the matter to be discussed under rule 69.