Karnataka to chug faster on Mamata’s largesse

Bangalore, Feb 24 (Calcutta Tube) True to her word, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday put Karnataka on the fast track by announcing three new trains, extending the run of three more and increasing the frequency of three trains from Bangalore to Howrah, Patna and Korba.

With Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Munniyappa hailing from the state, Karnataka had more than its share of new proposals in the railway budget, presented in the Lok Sabha Wednesday, for ensuing fiscal (2010-11), as Banerjee said that survey would be conducted for seven new rail projects across the state.

As India’s tech hub, Bangalore also gets a weekly non-stop Duronto to New Delhi this summer.

In addition, a weekly express from Bangalore to Nagarcoil in Tamil Nadu, a weekly service from Mangalore to Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu and a tri-weekly express from Bangalore to the pilgrim town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh will be operated during the ensuing fiscal.

The weekly Duronto to Howrah will run four days a week once additional coaches are supplied to the zonal railway.

Similarly, Bangalore-Patna Sanghamitra Express will run daily instead of six days a week currently. Yeshvantpur-Korba Express will operate twice a week instead of once.

The weekly train from Yeshvantpur to Kuchuveli in Kerala will be extended to Hubli in north Karnataka, about 400 km from Bangalore.

A daily passenger service from Mangalore to Kannur in Kerala will be extended to Kozhikode, while another passenger service from Dharwad to Gadag in north Karnataka will run up to Solapur in Maharashtra.

In view of the high traffic density within the state, Banerjee said the popular Link Express from Bangalore to Nanded in Maharashtra and Hubli will be bifurcated to run as separate trains to Hubli and Nanded respectively.

The minister, however, overlooked Bangalore in setting up a sports academy that are planned to come up in five other cities – Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi and Secunderabad.

Banerjee also announced that a design, development and testing centre for wheels will be set up at the Rail Wheel Factory near Yelahanka in north Bangalore.

Track doubling will be taken up only on the Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Vasco De Gama route in northwest region of the state.

Gauge conversion in the state is limited to Anandpuram to Talaguppa, Shimoga to Talaguppa in central Karnataka (Malnad) and Chintamani to Chikballapur in southern Kolar district.

Electrification of the rail section will be taken up from Guntakal in Andhra Pradesh to Bellary-Hospet-Vasco De Gama.

Survey for new lines will be taken up across the state from Bijapur to Shedbal via Athani; Chikaballapur to Gowribidnur; Podubidri to Nettane via Karkala, Belthangdy and Dharmasthala; Byndoor to Nettane via Kolluru, Halady, Hebri, Moodbidiri and Venoor; Belur-Sringeri; Mysore to Madikere via Kushalnagar; Belgaum to Raichur vial Bagalkot and Belgaum to Samatwadi.

World class (Adarsh) stations are proposed to be set up at Bagalkot, Chikballapur, Devanahalli, Doddaballapur, Gauribidnur, Gokak Road, Ramnagara and Yelahanka in Bangalore.

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