Mangalore, August 17, 2014 (The Hindu): Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda on Saturday hoped that railway projects in Karnataka should be on track as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had reportedly relented from his decision to provide only 33 per cent of the project cost, including the cost of land, instead of the earlier 50 per cent besides providing land for free.
Mr. Gowda was here to lay the foundation stone for an underpass on Padil–Bajal Road, near the Mangalore Junction Railway Station, and attend a ‘Meet-the-press’ programme organised by the Dakshina Kannada unit of the Working Journalists’ Union and the Press Club of Mangalore. He said Mr. Siddaramaiah had written to him before the presentation of the Railway Budget saying that the State government could share project cost, including the cost of land, only up to 33 per cent because of financial constraints.
He said, “I did not make the letter public, but discussed it with Congress MPs from Karnataka, including the former Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge, who [later] convinced Mr. Siddaramaiah to relent from his stand.”
Development was a continuous process and politics should not come in its way, Mr. Gowda said, and added that for this reason, he decided to adopt all the proposals made in the vote-on-account presented by Mr. Kharge.
Mr. Gowda said his Ministry was prioritising execution of ongoing and new projects on need basis. He said the deadline for completing doubling of the Bangalore–Mysore line was March 2015 and that for Bangalore–Hassan new line was March 2016.
Instead of Rs. 40 crore allocated for the Bangalore–Hassan new line in the vote-on-account, he had allocated Rs. 150 crore for the project. In all, Karnataka had got Rs. 1,400 crore for various railway projects, Mr. Gowda said.
Though the proposed Bangalore–Mangalore express train may run via Mysore initially, it could take the direct route via Hassan once the Bangalore–Hassan line was completed, he said. The train was likely to be named ‘Kudla Express’ as demanded by the people in the coastal region.
Ivan D’Souza, MLC, during the foundation stone laying ceremony, had appealed for running the express train as an overnight service via Arsikere.
Courtesy: The Hindu