BENGALURU: The running of trains powered by electricity along the tracks of the Bengaluru-Mysuru section will take longer. The reason: The transmission line to supply electricity to the trains is still not in place. The South Western Railway Zone has decided to throw open the recently completed doubling track and hope the electrification gets done soon.
Work on this 138.25-km doubling project began in 2007. Due to the presence of the 10mx12m Tipu Armoury, a heritage monument, near the Srirangapatna railway station, a 1.7-km stretch of track alone could not be commissioned. The armoury, weighing about 900 tonnes, was finally shifted on March 10 with international expertise. The cost for the project shot up to `875 crore from the `480 crore estimated a decade ago.
Top railway officials said they have decided not to wait for the electrification work to be done as it was delaying the project. “We have decided to invite the Commissioner of Railway Safety to inspect the doubling work and the Srirangapatna railway station. It is likely to take place on October 23,” a senior official said. “Both the tracks can be open for running tracks after we get the green signal,” he said. He blamed the delay in electrification work to shortage of skilled labour. While the electrification work between Bengaluru and Settyhalli had been done long ago, the electrification between Settyhalli and Mysuru is still ongoing, another official said. However, a top official in executing the electrification project denied labour shortage and delay. “All electrification work is ready. There is no delay from our side. The Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited has taken more than six months to award the contract for putting in place a transmission line. How can we run electric trains without any power supply? he asked.
Chief Engineer (Electricity), Transmission Zone, Mysuru Division, KPTCL, M Pratap said, “We will be finalising the contract within two days. The file will be sent to our corporate office and they will finalise it shortly.”He added that a 220 KV line needs to be put in place between Tubinekere area and Yeliyur railway.