Railway projects: Kharge seeks speedy land acquisition

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BANGALORE, September 29:  Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday urged the State government to release its share of funds for railway projects and pace up land acquisition to complete the ongoing projects.

He was here on Saturday to flag off Yeshwantpur-Mangalore Weekly Express. Mr. Kharge said the government released only Rs. 50 crore in the last six months, while the Railways released Rs. 320 crore. The Railways earmarked over Rs. 700 crore for projects in Karnataka and an equal amount had to come from the government. In the next six months, the government would have to release Rs. 650 crore at the rate of Rs. 109 crore a month, he said.

Mr. Kharge said he had announced 13 trains for Karnataka in the Railway Budget and three new trains later in 100 days after assuming office.

He said land acquisition had been hampering the progress of ongoing projects. “If the government provides land near Kunigal Stud Farm, the Railways can complete the Bangalore-Hassan new line this year.”

If the government rehabilitated the people affected by the Chickballapur-Kolar line, the services could start in two months. Land acquisition on a small stretch was hampering the Kottur-Harihar new line. Mr. Kharge said the Railways would commence operation on Kadur-Chickmaglur new line within a month.

Speaking earlier, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily urged Mr. Kharge to announce Mangalore and Gulbarga as new divisional headquarters for South Western Railway. Yeshwantpur-Mangalore Weekly Express will leave Yeshwantpur at 11.55 p.m. on Sundays to reach Mangalore at 5.40 pm on Mondays.

Mangalore-Yeshwantpur Weekly Express will leave Mangalore at 8 p.m. on Mondays to reach Yeshwantpur at 1.30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

The train will stop at Banaswadi, Krishnarajapuram, Bangarpet, Kuppam, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Shoranur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalassery, Kannur, Payyannur and Kasaragod. It will have one two-tier air-conditioned coach, one three-tier air-conditioned coach, seven second class sleeper coaches, six second class coaches and two second class sitting-cum-luggage vans.

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