Mangaluru, Aug 18, 2017 : The crucial fourth phase of de-congestion of Mangaluru railway network was initiated on Friday with railway minister Suresh Prabhu symbolically laying the foundation stone for doubling of the Nethravati-Mangaluru section via video conferencing from New Delhi.
He also laid the foundation stone for the foot-over-bridge at Mangaluru Central railway station.
The Nethravathi-Mangaluru Central doubling is crucial for de-congesting the busy rail hub, facilitating the train movements towards Konkan, Kerala and Mysuru. The project of doubling the 1.5km-long stretch was sanctioned by the railways in 2016-17. The project also involves modification of two road-over-bridges (ROBs). The project to construct an additional platform line at Mangaluru Central station has been sanctioned during 2017-18 at a cost of Rs.6.8 crore. The construction of track doubling between Nethravathi and Mangaluru Central is expected to cost Rs 28.03 crore.
Though, this region as of now functions to its full potential accommodating as many trains as it possibly can, but the rising number of train services has been a real challenge for railways. The mail, express, passenger and freight train movements often cause congestion in the area. With more trains expected to Mangaluru area with the commissioning of the Bengaluru-Mangaluru line via Shravanabelagola, the decongestion plan was put into place.
Efforts to ease congestion: The initial efforts started with setting up of Padil Railway station in 2008, which is strategically located between the Junction and Thokur and facilitates independent movements of trains from Panambur to Mysuru and back.
The second step was Nethravathi - Mangaluru Junction doubling where 3.23km-long section was done in 2012. The third step was doubling work between Mangaluru Junction- Panambur to improve the efficiency of freight and passenger train operations. The fourth step was Nethravathi-Mangaluru Central double line, for which the foundation stone was laid on Friday.
During the function, mayor Kavita Sanil, pointing out at the assurance of developing the central station into a world-class station, urged the authorities to initiate the process soon. She also demanded that Mangaluru be made a separate railway division.
MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said the district had received Rs 1,500 crore in the past three years for development. Observing that the much demanded Padil railway bridge has been completed, he urged the city corporation to sanction land to take up the Jeppu-Kudupady bridge project. On mayor’s demand, Kateel said railways will take up the world class station project once the state government provides 40 acres of land required for the project. Kateel said officials have been urged to start night train services on the newly commissioned Shravanabelagola route in two months time.
The proposed Rs 90 lakh worth foot-over-bridge will connect the platforms one with two and three and it will be 25 meters in length and three meters wide. The over bridge will be a fully covered structure, protecting users from vagaries of nature.