BENGALURU: To expedite the execution of Railway projects in Karnataka, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has recently written to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy to take appropriate action for easing various bottlenecks.
Land acquisition issues, as well as delay in obtaining clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC), are cited as reasons holding up completion of various projects.
The letter states that new line, gauge conversion and doubling works are among infrastructure projects being undertaken along with transmission line works for electrification projects in the state.
Detailing 17 different projects which have been delayed due to various issues, the letter states that Railways has taken up projects on cost sharing basis with government of Karnataka.
“The state government has to deposit its share of Rs 510.9 crore for 2018-2019 and further deposit their share for 2019-2020,” it said.
To take the matter forward, the General Manager of South Western Railway, Ajay Kumar Singh, had on July 9 written to Chief Secretary T M Vijaya Bhaskar asking for a meeting with Principal Secretaries of the state “for knowing the current status of the issues and to set the ball rolling for early clearances.”
In his response to the letter, the Chief Secretary told The New Indian Express, “I have asked my office to schedule an appointment within this month with Railway officials to discuss the issues.”
Of the 21 issues cited as major pending ones, four deal with clearances to be procured from the forest department while 17 of them require the state to acquire the required land.
Among the key projects are: Hotgi-Kudgi-Gadag doubling (only 14.65 acres of 123.83 acres handed over so far); Hospet-Hubballi-Londa-Tinaighat-Vasca Da Gama doubling (25.83 acres of land requiring forestry clearance in Uttara Karnataka district); Hubballi-Chikajajur (only 29 acres handed over out of 88.16 acres needed); Yelahanka-Penukonda doubling (only 2.35 acres handed over out of 4.61 acres).
Other projects awaiting sizeable portions of land are : Arsikere-Tumukuru doubling, Miraj-Londa doubling, Gadag-Wadi new line, Tumukuru-Chitradurga Davangere new line, Rayadurga-Tumukuru via Kalyandurga new line, Munirabad-Mehaboobnagar new line, Bagalkot-Kudachi new line, Hubballi-Ankola new line, Bangalore-Chamrajanagar/Satyamangalam new line, Chikmangalur-Sakleshpur new line, Whitefield-Kolar new line, Shivamogga-Harihar new line and Marikuppam-Kuppam new line.
The letter specifies expedition of these two electrification projects: Hospet-Bellary-Guntakal which is being taken up by RVNL where a transmission line running to a length of 3 km has to be put in place.
Out of total 16 tower locations, eight foundations and four tower erections have been completed, it says. The Chikjajur-Bellary electrification project awaits estimates to be sent by the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited.