Karwar, Dec 26: The Konkan Railway Users Action Committee (KRUAC) of Karwar organized a rail roko at the Karwar Railway Station on Dec 25, Friday, in opposition to the extension of the Mumbai-Karwar superfast express (Rajadhani Express) to Mangalore from January 1, 2010.
The protestors prevented the Rajadhani Express from moving on to Hazrat Nizamuddin from Thiruvananthapuram. They climbed over it, flashed placards, and yelled slogans. They warned that they would intensify the protest if the train was extended to Mangalore. Later, they submitted a memorandum to the Railway Ministry, urging it not to extend the service up to Mangalore.
The KRUAC says that the number of reservations for the people of Karwar would reduce if the train was extended till Mangalore. This would adversely affect the large number of people who have to travel to Mumbai for a variety of reasons. The Railway Ministry had granted the facility of a superfast express between Mumbai and Karwar as a response to the continued pleas of the people of Karwar.
They alleged that the Railway Ministry has always been partial to the requirements of the people of Uttara Kannada, treating them as if they were second-class citizens. The officials concerned were unnecessarily delaying the implementation of the Hubli-Ankola Railway project. Moreover, instead of extending the Bangalore-Mangalore train to Karwar, they had extended it to Kannur in Kerala.
They also alleged that a new railway station that ought to have been constructed in Mudageri near Karwar was shifted to Loliyem in Goa. They also protested fiercely against the bifurcation of the Karwar Railway Regional Manager’s Office (RRMO) between Udupi and Goa. They warned that they would protest vehemently if the RRMO was moved out of Karwar.
A number of social as well as political organizations such as the Congress, the BJP, the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, the Kannada Sahitya Parishad, the Janashakti Vedike, and the Karwar Merchants’ Union supported the KRUAC.