Mangaluru, May 16, 2016: Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu is attempting to overhaul the rail systems, he will be in Mangaluru to attend his first official programme after assuming the office, expectations are high among people from coastal Karnataka that their long-standing woes would get settled.
Railway Minister Prabhu will be attending the valedictory of Platinum Jubilee celebrations of KCCI, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, today May 16, Monday.
Despite the Mangaluru region contributing to over 80 per cent of the revenue of Palakkad Railway Division of SR, Southern Railway, people are more unhappy that the region is not getting its due, be it enhanced facilities at railway stations or direct train links to important cities, including Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Compared to the revenue earnings, SR’s geographical presence in Karnataka is just about 28 km track length, from Talapady to Panambur (NMPT) or about 40 km rail-road distance.
The region is divided between Konkan Railway Corporation, SWR, South Western Railway and the SR thereby losing attention by all the three. Though the SR is making attempts to address the domination of Malayalam/ Tamil speaking Railway employees in Mangaluru region, still the region is not free from the language woes.
On the other hand, people are aghast that no concrete attempts are being made to develop Mangaluru Central into world-class standards as promised by former Minister for Railways Mamta Banerjee; that long-distance trains are not operated to their convenient timings; that more trains to Mumbai and Bengaluru, reintroduction of cancelled Mangaluru-Miraj Mahalakshmi Express, developing Subrahmanya Road into a terminal etc., are not being considered. KCCI President Rammohan Pai Maroor states that the best option is to merge Mangaluru region with the South Western Railway so that it gets adequate attention for development. FKCCI member Prakash Mandoth said if not carving out Mangaluru Division, the region should be brought under Mysuru Division of SWR. KCCI’s Pai said a station should be constructed at Mangaluru International Airport on the Mangaluru Junction-Udupi line so that air travellers get the needed benefits.
FKCCI Director Prakash Mandoth has urged Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu to immediately disband the HMRDC, Hassan-Mangalore Rail Development Corporation.
The Hassan-Mangaluru is an open line and allowing HMRDC to control train operations is illogical. The Ministry should buy out the corporation by paying its investment (about Rs. 50 crore) and introduce more passenger trains between Mangaluru and the hinterlands.
Passengers’ woes would multiply when Shiradi Ghat would be closed again for reconstruction, as the Railways would not run any additional train for their benefit.