MOS (Rlys) promises new train between Hubli and Chennai

Bellary (BAY): Manoj Sinha, Union Minister of State for Railways has promised Karadi Sanganna, Koppal MP, and Babulal Jain, member of the South Western Zonal Rail Users’ Consultative Committee to introduce a train between Hubballi and Chennai via Koppal, Hosapete, Ballari and Guntakal.

The assurance was given when Mr.Sanganna and Mr.Jain met the Minister at his chambers on Friday. They discussed issues such as introducing of new trains, improving the rail facilities and amenities among other things for Ballari-Hospet and Koppal region, which had emerged as a major steel hub besides contributing freight revenue to the railways.

Sanvordem-Curchorem Rail Consumers Association places its demands to Rail Minister

मडगांव Madgaon (MAO):  Ahead of the railway budget to be presented in the parliament later this month, the Sanvordem-Curchorem rail consumers association (SCRCA) has urged Union minister for railways, Suresh Prabhu, to restore the various train services along the south-western railway (SWR) route which were suspended in 1996 during the gauge conversion work, but not restored since then.

SCRCA has requested Prabhu to restore the express train service on the Vasco-Miraj and Vasco-Bijapur routes, considering the needs of the large number of people traveling on these routes for business, medical care and other purposes. It has also demanded restoration of the Vasco-Mumbai express trains via Londa, Belgaum and Pune.

SCRCA president Devanand Bhandari said, “The number of passengers traveling to Belgaum, Ghatprabha and Miraj from South Goa has increased manifold during the last several years. The introduction of daily passenger trains along the route will lessen the hardships of these passengers.”

SCRCA has also further drawn the attention of the railway minister to the long pending demand of the public for an express train service along the Vasco-Tirupati-Hyderabad-Secundarabad route.

It has also demanded that the Vasco-Yeshwantpur bi-weekly express be converted into a daily service, and that it may be renamed as ‘Siddharudh Express’, while also urging for the conversion of the weekly Vasco-Chennai express into a bi-weekly service and renamed as ‘Dudhsagar Express.’

It further requested that the Vijaywada-Hubli Amravati express be extended to Vasco, and that the Vasco- Howrah Amravati Express which currently runs four days a week be converted into a daily service with pantry facility.

Copies of the letter have also been addressed to defense minister Manohar Parrikar, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, South Goa MP Narendra Sawaikar and North Goa MP Shripad Naik.

Major fire at the century-old Rail Carriage Repair Workshop at Hubli

Smoke billowing out of the Rail Carriage Repair Workshop in Hubballi on Wednesday

Smoke billowing out of the Rail Carriage Repair Workshop in Hubballi on Wednesday

हुबली Hubli (UBL): A major fire that broke out in the century-old Rail Carriage Repair Workshop on Gadag Road here, created panic among the workers and the public on Wednesday.

The fire was noticed around 12.50 p.m. at the rubbish yard of the workshop, and spread quickly. There were no casualties.

The Fire and Emergency Services personnel rushed to the spot. The operation that went on 8 p.m. and involved 45 personnel and six fire engines. The workshop didn’t have any standard fire-fighting equipment or arrangements, including a fire hydrant, sources said. Deputy Chief Workshop Manager Vijaykumar issued a statement hat the Railways had not incurred any loss due to the fire as the material that got burnt was of zero value. He said the cause of the fire would be investigated.

Pressure mounts on Government for expeditious completion of Hubbali-Ankola Rail line

हुब्बली Hubli (UBL): The pressure is growing on the Union government to complete the long-pending Hubballi-Ankola railway project by announcing enough funds in the next Railway Budget.

Besides, various organizations have also demanded regular train connectivity to Mumbai, Chennai and other metros from Hubballi, clean drinking water in railway stations, and change in timings of some trains, mainly the Express train between Lokamanya Tilak Terminus and Hubballi. The reaches Hubballi at 3am and leaves Mumbai at 9.05 am.

In a pre-Budget meeting held on Tuesday to receive proposals, various organizations put forth their demands. Vasanta Ladawa, president of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that all hurdles should be cleared on priority basis to expedite the complete the Hubballi-Ankola railway project. “The Union government should hold talks with environmentalist who are opposing the project and clear their doubts to speed up the project,” said Ladawa.

He also demanded that the Hubbali-Bangalore double line, which has been approved, get the administrative nod and fund released in the next Railway Budget. “Hubli-Pune, Gadag-Solapur double line survey was also approved in the 2012-13 budget, but fund is not released yet. In the next budget, it should be considered,” he said. The Ballari-Hospet-Vasco line electrification proposal should be approved in the forthcoming budget by earmarking fund for the project.

CA Hitesh Kumar Modi, chairman, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Hubballi, demanded that the much-awaited project between Hubballi and Karwar be implemented. He also demanded double line track between Bengaluru and Mumbai, electric trains from Hubballi to Bengaluru and free transportation from main road to main gate of railway station for the elderly and physically challenged persons.

M S Subhas, dean, Kousali Institute of Management, KUD, said that the Indian Institute of Railway Service should be set up in Hubballi-Dharwad.

Joshi said that all proposals and demands submitted by organizations would be brought to the notice of the railway minister.

Railway’s Bomb Dispoal Squad conducts mock drill at Madgaon railway station

मडगांव Madgaon (MAO): As a part of its heightened security measures, the Railway police on Sunday pressed into service a bomb disposal squad (BDS) to conduct search operations at the Margao railway station.

Police sources said that the exercise was conducted to ensure a sense of “heightened alertness and quick coordination among security agencies in view of the general alert sounded in the country following the Peshawar terror attack”.

There was no specific threat of any kind, the Konkan Railway police stressed in light of the mock drill.

The drill led to some anxious moments for the passengers at the railway station, as rumours of a bomb scare did the rounds.

Earlier this month, a bomb scare had led to panic among railway officials after an anonymous letter addressed to the station master of the Margao railway station cautioning him about a planned bomb attack was found in the mail box.

The threat later turned out to be a hoax.

Karnataka Forest Dept to erect barriers alongside Railway tracks to save Jumbos

बेंगुलूरु Bangalore (SBC): Karnataka State sanctions Rs.50 crore for project; Railways urged to reduce costs. The Forest department has written to the State government and the Railway ministry, seeking reduction in the cost of rails needed for erecting barriers in areas where man-elephant conflict is high.

A team of officials will visit New Delhi in the second week of October to meet Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda to urge him to intervene and reduce the cost of rails which the State government intends to purchase from the Railways.

In August 2014, a team of Forest department officials along with Forests and Ecology Minister B Ramanath Rai had visited Kenya and South Africa to study the models to mitigate man-elephant conflict.

A couple of years ago, the Forest department, along with experts from the Indian Institute of Science, had erected rails discarded by the Railways in some patches of Bandipur Tiger Reserve on a pilot basis.

In view of this successful experiment and the study of the African model where rails were used for creating barriers, the minister, in September 2014, had announced that rails would be used to construct barriers to keep elephants at bay, apart from the traditional methods of digging elephant-proof trenches and chilli rope.

Accordingly, the Forest department chalked out a Rs 212-crore for the project to erect barricades using rails. They identified areas along the borders of Bannerghatta National Park, connecting River Cauvery, Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserves and a few areas around the BRT wildlife sanctuary.

But, the State government sanctioned only Rs 50 crore for the project. The officials contacted the South Western Railway (SWR) officials in this regard.

A senior SWR official said the tracks were sold at scrap rates of Rs 42 per kilogram. The rates fluctuate depending on the market prices and scrap is normally e-auctioned.

The official maintained that though it was the first time that a government department was keen on purchasing rails from the Railways, reduction in price would be decided by the board and the ministry.

“Out of the sanctioned Rs 50 crore, around 70 per cent will be spent on purchasing rails and the rest will be used for digging work, transportation and erection of rails, manpower and so on. Thus, around Rs 75 lakh to Rs 80 lakh will be spent for erecting a kilometre of barriers. With the sanctioned amount, only 60 km to 70 km can be covered.”

“We are requesting the government and the minister to intervene and help us get the rails at subsidised rates. Discussions are also on with SWR officials to reduce the costs of the rails,” Vinay Luthra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) told

Gulbarga-centric development leading to regional imbalance

State working president of Jana Sangram Parishat Raghavendra Kushtagi addressing a media conference at Reporters’ Guild in Raichur on Wednesday

State working president of Jana Sangram Parishat Raghavendra Kushtagi addressing a media conference at Reporters’ Guild in Raichur on Wednesday

रायचूर Raichur (RC):  Strongly criticising the “Gulbarga-centric development” in Hyderabad-Karnataka region, State working president of Jana Sangram Parishat (JSP) Raghavendra Kushtagi expressed concerns over the disparities caused by uneven development in the region. He was addressing a media conference at Reporters’ Guild here on Wednesday.

“Gulbarga is flourishing at the cost of rest of the places in Hyderabad-Karnataka region. It has grabbed most of what were sanctioned to the region. It has already had a multi-specialty hospital and a medical college of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), Government Medical College, Central University, Textile Park, Gulbarga University, Cancer Hospital and other premier establishments. Yet, powerful politicians from Gulbarga district are making serious attempts to grab the proposed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to their district. If the Gulbarga-centric developmental trend continues, other places in the region would have to be up in arms for demanding internal reservation within the region,” he warned.

He criticised former Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge for his excessive focus on Gulbarga and neglect of the rest of the places in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.

“During his tenure as Railway Minister, Mr.Kharge diverted thousands of crores of rupees from the Union government to Gulbarga district for various developmental projects including irrigation projects along the Narayanpur Left Bank Canal (NLBC),” he alleged.

Dr.V.A.Malipatil, a leading psychiatrist and district convenor of JSP, demanded that AIIMS should be established in Raichur instead of Gulbarga.

He said that Raichur is, compared with Gulbarga, far backward in terms of the ratio of doctors and hospital beds to the population, Human Development Index, Gender Inequality Index, industrial development, education and various other areas.

An action committee, with representatives of all political parties, civil society organisations and elected representatives as its members, has recently been formed for formulating future course of action including struggles for pressurising both State and Union governments, he added.

“A delegation on behalf of the action committee would soon meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and even the Prime Minister if required, and demand AIIMS for Raichur,” he said.

Gowda assures Environmental Clearance to 168-km Hubli-Ankola line in one year

हुबली Hubli (UBL): Will the Hubli-Ankola railway link, a demand said to be pending since the British era, become a reality any soon? This issue has resurfaced after Railway Minister D.V.Sadananda Gowda said in Shimoga on Sunday that he will get environmental clearance to this 168-km line in one year.

The statement of the Railway Minister on the Hubli-Ankola project, a key infrastructure demand of north Karnataka and coastal Karnataka, comes a decade after the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest refused to part with dense forest land for it.

But the proponents of the project hope that the State will push for the project as it would lead to greater economic activity along the coast in the form of goods movement and also provide a direct rail link between the two important regions, though environmentalists have not warmed up to the idea.

Goods Traffic

New Mangalore Port Trust Chairman P.C. Parida said that about 1 million tonnes of goods traffic now being diverted to Chennai from the Bellary-Hospet industrial area could come to the port, if this line is constructed.

Trade and industry bodies in Hubli and Mangalore have been highlighting its positive socio-economic benefit to the two regions.

On the subject of environment objections, Mr. Parida said that there was a solution to everything, while another observer pointed out that the State government should take the lead in giving the support required for Mr. Sadananda Gowda to take the project forward by providing effective answers to the objections raised by the Union Ministry.

“Only a handful of environmentalists are opposed to it,” said Vittal Bhandary, leader of a left-wing cultural organisation, Samudaya, based in Karwar.

While Mr. Sadananda Gowda’s hopes of convincing the Union Ministry to accept the proposal rejected by it so categorically are actually daunting, what makes his task even more challenging is the fact that the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee is looking into the project’s environmental impact currently.

Project violates rules: environmentalist

Sirsi-based environmentalist Pandurang Hegde, who had petitioned the Supreme Court in the matter, said that the Hubli-Ankola rail line project could only be implemented in violation of rules protecting reserved forests.

He said that the proposed line would pass through Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, the Anasi Tiger Reserve and the Western Ghats, which has been declared a biodiversity hotspot.

Several rail projects languish on South Western for want of funds

बंगलूरू Bangalore (SBC): With several projects of South Western Railways needing funds for completion, the funds allocated in the recent rail budget are grossly inadequate.

While the Centre announced Rs.1,576 crore for railway projects under South Western Railways, the ongoing projects require Rs.12,000 crore.

Sixteen new lines were announced in the past at an estimated cost of Rs 10,912 crore, of which only Rs.477 crore have been allocated so far.

Still Rs.8,439 crore are required for the completion of these new lines.

However, with no date set for completion of these 16 lines, coupled with slow progress, it has led to escalation in the estimated cost.

Similarly, for gauge conversion on four existing lines, the estimate was Rs.2,099 crore and only Rs.10.15 crore have been allocated.

The remaining amount is yet to be given.

Also, on 14 lines, doubling was announced at an estimated cost of Rs.4,510 crore and only about Rs.393 crore has been allocated, with Rs.2,551 crore still awaited.

“These projects take long time for completion as lot of technicalities are involved such as land acquisition, designing. Accordingly, approvals have to be taken from the competent authorities. Funds are allocated as projects progress in due course of time.”

Sanjeev Dyamannavar from Praja Raag said, “Some of these projects were announced 8-10 years back without any deadline mentioned. Therefore, projects take much longer to complete in the absence of pressure from authorities. Whenever a project is announced, whether it’s railways or any other, a specific timeframe should be given so that public can also benefit and the exchequer is saved from cost escalations. Funds allocation should be done based on yearly progress that can be made by railways, thus setting a target for themselves for completion of works in the pipeline.”

Ministry releases Rs.233 Crore for Gadag-Wadi broad gauge works

The Ministry of Railways on Tuesday sanctioned Rs 233 crore to construct newly announced Gadag-Wadi broad gauge railway line in the State.

हुबली Hubli (UBL):  The project is coming up with 50:50 cost-sharing between Railways and the State government. The land for the project will be provided by the State free of cost, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters here.

The total cost of the project is Rs.1922 crore and the Ministry released Rs 16 crore for the current financial year. Once the State government hands over substantial land to the Railways, work will start, he said.

Hubli-Guntakal

The new line will link main lines of Hubli-Guntakal and Mumbai-Chennai routes, passing through Gadag, Koppal, Raichur, Yadgir and Gulbarga districts via Kuknur, Yelburga, Kushtagi, Lingsugur, Gurgunta, Devapur, Shorapur, Shahpur and Biral Buzurg.


Speedy rail connection

Once the project completes, industries in these five districts of North Karnataka will also get convenient and speedy rail connection with ports on the Western Coast and also other parts of the country, enhancing the socio- economic development in the backward areas of Hyderabad-Karnataka, he said.

The new line will also help in faster movement of goods and passengers between Wadi and Hubli. With this line, distance between Gadag and Wadi stations will come down by about 147 km, in comparison to the existing routes via Guntakal and Hotgi.

Forest Department’s plea to SWR to curb Train Speeds at Mollem National Park

caranzolकरंज़ोल Caranzol (CRZ): Due to deaths of several wild animals on the railway tracks passing through the Mollem national park, Anilkumar, the deputy conservator of forests, has written a letter to South-Western railway division at Hubli to curtail the speed of trains passing through the park and to sensitize the drivers about the presence of wildlife in the region.

Recently, 1 Km from the Caranzol railway station near the Dudhsagar waterfalls, two sloth bears died while they were crossing the tracks at night time. One male sloth bear died on the spot whereas the female died 15 days later while undergoing medical treatment at Bondla zoo.

Cases of wildlife deaths on the railway tracks are common inside the park areas. Earlier, a leopard and a gaur died on the railway line passing through the forests of the national park.

Pranay Api Naik, the range forest officer of Mollem national park said, “We had received information about the sloth bears on the morning of March 20. The male died during the night of March 19 whereas the female died after a fortnight in Bondla Zoo.”

Anilkumar said, “Our staff has made sincere attempts to save the female sloth bear but it died even after medical treatment as the spinal cord was badly damaged”

Chandrakant Shinde, a wildlife enthusiast, who visits frequently areas of Mahavir wildlife sanctuary as well as the park said, “As many nocturnal animals die while crossing the rail track, there is urgent need to stop trains running during the night. A large number of reptiles are seen smashed during the monsoon season on the rail track. Speeding trains cause harm to wildlife and hence restrictions should be imposed on the movement of trains during night time.”

Missing Rly staff traced inside deep canyon in Dudhsagar Waterfalls with the help of VDU

Light-activated underwater display unit traces him inside 20m deep canyon – fishing out the body likely to take more time!

Dudhsagar-Waterfallsलोंडा Londa (LD): Colem police along with fire and emergency services personnel finally succeeded in tracing the body of 24-year-old railway employee from Karnataka, by using the sophisticated visual display unit (VDU).

A police source revealed that the body of Hanumant Anantpur was stuck inside a 20m deep canyon, located at the Dudhsagar falls water basin, adding that it is impossible to do anything but wait for it to surface.

VDU is usually used by fire and emergency services to obtain underwater visuals. Police sources said that a diver even attempted to swim through the canyon and fish out the body, but the high current inside the canyon at a depth of 10m led to blood oozing out of his ears, forcing him to return to the surface.

Anantpur who was working to railway’s PWD wing at Hubli-Karnataka, along with his brother Venkatesh and four other friends had gone to Dudhsagar falls for a picnic on Sunday morning. Anantpur’s friends who were enjoying the swim suddenly realized he had gone missing. Colem police search operation did not bear any results until they made use of the VDU.

Railway Employee goes missing at Dudhsagar Waterfalls

लोंडा Londa (LD): Hanumant Anantpur, a 24-year-old railway employee working on South Western Railway is feared to have drowned at the Dudhsagar waterfalls on Sunday afternoon. The Collem police said that he went missing in the waterfalls and his body wasn’t found until late Sunday evening.

Collem PI Jivba Dalvi said that Anantpur was working at the S.W.Railway/Hubli’s PWD wing and had come with his brother Venkatesh Anantpur and four other friends: Devendra Kudlur, Ashok GK, Nagraj Bhandari and Santosh (full name not known) for a picnic at Dudhsagar on late Sunday morning.

After alighting at Dudhsagar station from a Karnataka-Goa bound train, they walked down to the waterfalls site and were swimming below the railway bridge when Anantpur went missing, police said quoting the statements of his friends.

“His brother and friends searched for him soon after they noticed him missing. After their attempts to find him were in vain, they informed the matter to Collem police who also tried to search for him in the water, but he was not found,” Dalvi said.

Dalvi added that they would continue the search operation on Monday morning. They have registered a case of a missing person at the police station.

A source from Collem added that the waterfall site where the water actually falls from a height is much deeper than the Dudhsagar Lake at Sonaulin. “Besides it is risky to swim near the falls as several washed off pieces of metallic girders that were supporting the railway bridge have been deposited in the water basin. The water basin also consists of many sharp-edged rocks,” the source said.

Kharge to lay Foundation Stone for New Broad Gauge line between Gadag-Wadi

Yelburga:  Union Minister of Railways, Social Justice & Empowerment Mr.Mallikarjun Kharge will Lay the Foundation Stone for New Broad Gauge Railway Line between Gadag-Wadi Section (252 Kms) at 2-30 p.m.(afternoon), o­n Friday, the 28th February, 2014 at General Hospital Premises, Yelburga, in the presence of Shivaraj Tangadagi, Minister for Minor Irrigation & Minister Incharge of Koppal District, Govt.of Karnataka, Mr.H.K. Patil, Minister for Rural Development, Panchayath Raj & Minister Incharge of Gadag District, Govt. of Karnataka, Shivaramagouda, Member of Parliament, Koppal and Shivakumar Udasi, Member of Parliament, Haveri.

Mr.Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister of Karnataka will preside over the function. While Basavaraj Rayaraddy, MLA (Yelburga), K. Raghavendra Hitnal, MLA (Koppal), Iqbal Ansari, MLA (Gangavathi), Doddanagouda Patil, MLA (Kustagi), Haalappa Aachar, Amarnath Patil, Members of Karnataka Legislative Council, Janardhana Huligi, President, Zilla Panchayath, Koppal, Smt.Niramala Umesh Kapali, President, Taluk Panchayath, Yelburga & Smt. Bhagirati M.Jogin, President, Town Panchayath, Yelburga will grace the occasion as Distinguished Guests.

Pradeep Kumar Saxena, General Manager, SWR, S.S.Narayanan, Principal Chief Engineer, Adesh Sharma,Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), Vashishta Johri, Chief Mechanical Engineer, N.C.Sinha, Chief Operations Manager, SWR, Surajit Kumar Das, Chief Commercial Manager, SWR, Sanjeev Mittal, Divisional Railway Manager, Hubli Division, P.R.S.Raman, Chief Engineer/Construction, Hubli, SWR and other Senior Railway Officials and Staff of SWR representatives of SWR Mazdoor Union and other Associations of SWR will also be present o­n the occasion.

The new line will provide connectivity between main lines of Hubli-Guntakal and Mumbai-Chennai routes. The line will will pass through the districts of Gadag, Koppal, Raichur, Yadgir and Gulbarga via Kuknur, Yelburga, Kushtagi, Lingsugur, Gurgunta, Devapur, Shorapur Shahpur and Biral Buzurg.

Industries is these five districts will also get convenient and speedy rail connection with ports on the Western Coast and allso other parts of the country, enhancing the socio- economic development in the backward areas of Hyderabad-Karnataka.

With this direct link, the distance between Gadag and Wadi stations will come down by about 147km, in comparison to the existing routes via Guntakal and Hotgi.

It is also mooted that this new line will also help in faster movement of goods and passengers between Wadi and Hubli.

Kharge lays Foundation Stone for Construction of Pit Line at Khanapur

Khanapur (KNP): Minister for Railway Mr.Mallikarjun Kharge laid the foundation stone for construction of the Pit Line at a cost of Rs.10 Crore, which is a maintenance centre, in Khanapur railway station in Bhalki taluk on February 24.

“Due to the lack of a pit line, we could not run the Bidar-Yesvantpur train regularly. The regular service of the train will start by March-April,” he said earlier on 30th December, 2013 while flagging off the Humnabad-Bidar Demu train at Humnabad Railway station.

This will enable officials to make Bidar the originating station for new trains. It will also serve as the change over station for goods trains, according to railway officials.

Addressing the large gathering, Kharge said that the number of Coaches have increased due to introduction of many new trains in Hyderabad Karnataka region in the recent past and necessitated establishing the coach maintenance facilities with pit line, stabling line etc at Khanapur. Further, he stated that being part ofongoing Bidar Gulbarga new railway line, the coach maintenance facility at Khanapur would cater to the trip maintenance requirement of the coaches of this region. 355 Hectares of land in Bidar district and412 Hectares in Gulbarga district have so far been acquired by Railways for the o­ngoing Bidar-Gulbarbga new railway line.Acquisition of an additional land of 62 Hectares in Bidar and Gulbarga districts is under process. Railways had already deposited Rs.33.75 Cr. with the Govt. of Karnataka towards land acquisition and compensation, he added.

P.K. Srivastava, General Manager, while welcoming the gathering, said that taking into account the present and future needs of expansion of rail services in the area, railways has taken up the work of Pit line facility at Khanapur which would accommodate 24 Coach trains and would be constructed at a cost of Rs. 10 Cr. by October, 2014. Dr.N.Dharam Singh, Hon’ble Ex. Chief Minister of Karnataka & MP, Shri Eshwara Khandre, Hon’ble MLC and Shri Rajashekhar Basavaraj Patil, Hon’ble MLA also spoke o­n the occasion.

Salient Features of Coach Maintenance Facilities at Khanapur Junction

1) As Railways is a cost-effective and convenient mode of public transport, demands for introduction of new trains arise continuously. It is necessary to have adequate infrastructural facilities for the maintenance of coaches to enable running of more trains.

2) In the recent past, there has been considerable increase in the passenger/express services in the Hyderabad- Karnataka region. There will be more demands for new services o­nce the Bidar–Gulbarga new Railway line is commissioned.

3) At present, the nearest coach maintenance depot to this area o­n SCR is available at Secunderabad o­nly. Lack of sufficient number of pit lines, stabling lines, sick lines and other maintenance facilities acts as a limiting factor in introducing additional trains to satisfy the public demands.

4) With a view to meet the present and future needs of introducing new trains services, a work for creation of coach maintenance facilities is included as a part of the o­ngoing Bidar-Gulbarga new Railway line project.

5) This new work at Khanapur junction envisages the development of the following facilities:-

  • One pit line for maintenance of 24 coaches at a time with catwalk arrangements o­n both sides of the pit line.
  • One stabling line for keeping the rake till placement in pit line for maintenance or till ready for departure after maintenance.
  • One sick line for placement of sick coaches to undertake required repairs.
  • A covered sick shed enabling to take up major repairs.
  • Office and other service buildings for Mechanical and Electrical Departments.

Kharge to flag-off new Mangalore-Madgaon Intercity Express train on Feb 23

Mangalore (MAQ): The new daily superfast Intercity express train service between Mangalore Central-Madgaon, announced by in the rail budget, will be flagged off by Union minister of railways Mallikarjun Kharge at Mangalore Central on February 23.

The inaugural special train 02636 will leave Mangalore Central at 3.30pm and arrive Madgaon at 10.15pm on that day.

The regular service of train 22635 Madgaon-Mangalore Central daily superfast intercity express will commence on February 24 from Madgaon and that of Train 22636 Mangalore Central – Madgaon daily superfast intercity express will commence on the same day itself from Mangalore Central. Train 22635 Madgaon-Mangalore Central daily superfast intercity express will leave Madgaon at 4.15 pm and arrive Mangalore Central at 10pm the same day.

Train no 22636 Mangalore Central – Madgaon daily superfast intercity express will leave Mangalore Central at 8.15 am and reach Madgaon at 2pm.

The trains will stop at Canacona, Karwar, Kumta, Bhatkal, Mookambika Road Byndoor, Kundapur, Udupi and Surathkal. Advance reservation for the above trains will commence on February 16.

CCEA gives nod for Construction of a New Railway Line between Gadag and Wadi

Gadag Jn (GDG):  The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the construction of a new railway line between Gadag and Wadi in Karnataka. The total length of the new line will be 252.5 kms.

The total anticipated cost of ₹1922.14 crore for this project will be funded 50 percent through budgetary support and 50 percent through the Government of Karnataka. Land will be provided free of cost by the Government of Karnataka and the line will be completed in six years during the 13th Plan period.

The new rail line would provide a direct shorter route for the people of the area and further to Hyderabad/Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh. Besides the travelling needs of the people, various cement, steel and power plants in the area would get the necessary rail link for transportation of their raw material and finished products. Gadag, Koppal, Raichur and Gulbarga areas of Karnataka would also be covered by this new rail line.

Sanvordem-Curchorem Rail Consumers urge Kharge to restore the train services on SWR

Sanvordem (SVM): Ahead of the interim railway budget for 2014-15 to be presented in the parliament next month, the Sanvordem-Curchorem rail consumers association has urged Union minister for railways, Mallikarjun Kharge, to restore the various train services along the South Western Railway (SWR) route which were suspended in 1996 during the gauge conversion work but have not been restored since.

SCRCA has demanded restoration of the Vasco-Mumbai express trains via Londa, Belgaum and Pune, considering the needs of the large number of people travelling on these routes for business, medical care and other purposes.

“The introduction of daily passenger trains as well as express trains along the route will lessen the hardships of passengers,” Devanand Bhandari, president of the association told.

It drew the attention of the railway minister to facilitate train service along the Vasco-Tirupati-Hyderabad-Secundarabad route by way of a link train which was available before the gauge conversion work.

The association demanded that the Vasco-Yeshwantpur bi-weekly express be converted into a daily service, and that it may be renamed as ‘Siddharudh Express’, while also urging for the conversion of the weekly Vasco-Chennai express into a bi-weekly service and that it be renamed as ‘Dudhsagar Express.’ A demand for converting the Vasco-Howrah Amravati express which runs four days a week into a daily service with a pantry car facility, also finds mention in the letter.

“Curchorem-Sanvordem railway station was once adjudged the cleanest and most beautiful railway station on the SWR in Goa. Unfortunately, the present state of this station is far from satisfactory. We request your kind favour to restore the old glory of this station which is the only transit point in Goa for all mineral transport from Karnataka and Goa,” adds the letter. Copies of the letter have been addressed to chief minister Manohar Parrikar, South Goa MP Fransisco Sardinha, North Goa MP Shripad Naik, and Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik.

Fire scare in Yeshwantpur-Dadar Chalukya Express – prompt Railway staff avert tragedy

Chinchli (CNC):  Smoke emanating from underneath a coach of a train bound for Dadar in Mumbai from here caused anxious moments before it was put out by the railway crew at Chincholi station in Belgaum District of Karnataka, a senior police officer said.

A possible mishap was averted on the Yeshwantpur-Dadar Chalukya Express when railway authorities noticed the smoke and spark and doused it, Belgaum Superintendent of Police Chandragupta said.

He said the train resumed the onward journey after a brief halt at the station, near Raibag.

As soon as the train came to a halt at the station, the railway crew noticed the smoke billowing from the bogey and swung into action, he said.

Railway sources said the smoke and spark emanated from near the wheel and the train was detained for a very brief period.

The incident took place close on the heels of nine passengers losing their lives after three bogeys of a speeding Mumbai-Dehradun Express caught fire near Dahanu town in Maharashtra’s Thane district in the wee hours today, the second such incident in the last fortnight.

There was also a minor fire incident today in the Lucknow Shatabdi due to brake jam. Smoke started emanating from the wheels of the Delhi-Lucknow Shatabdi Express triggering panic among train passengers in the morning at Ghaziabad station.

On December 28, an air-conditioned coach of the Bangalore-Nanded Express train caught fire in the early hours in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh, killing 26 people and injuring 13 others.

Kharge inaugurates Humnabad-Khanapur railway Line – Assure Pitline in Khanapur

Khanapur (KNP):  Minister of railways Mallikarjun Kharge commissioned a 37.2-km-long new railway line between Humnabad and Khanapur at a function held at Humnabad railway station on Sunday.

He also flagged off an inaugural DEMU passenger special train from Humnabad to Bidar to mark the commissioning of the new railway line.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said that keeping in view the potential for growth of traffic and in response to the requirements of the people of north Karnataka, the railways had been expanding its network and services in the area.

The Khanapur-Humnabad is a part of the Bidar-Gulbarga new rail line project. Diesel-electric multiple units between Bidar and Humnabad would be of great use to the people of the region.

Will Build Pit Line in Khanapur

A railway pit line will be constructed at Khanapur of Bhalki taluk in Bidar district at a cost of Rs.10 crore and the project will be inaugurated in 15 days, said Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

“Due to the lack of a pit line, we could not run the Bidar-Yesvantpur train regularly. The regular service of the train will start by March-April,” he said.

The parliament has approved the proposal to set up a railway administrative office at Gulbarga, he said.

Kharge instructed South Central railway general Manager P K Shrivatsav to complete the remaining line between Humanabad and Gulbarga within two years. He said Rs.200 crore was spent on the 37.20 km new railway line between Khanapur and Humanabad (part of the Bidar-Gulbarga rail line project) and Rs.18 crore for the Bidar-Humanabad DEMU train. Bhalki railway station will be renovated at a cost of Rs.50 lakh, he added.

“The 106.60 kilometre long new railway line between Bidar and Gulbarga was sanctioned at a cost of Rs.369.70 crore. This is a 50:50 cost sharing project between the Ministry of Railways and the government of Karnataka. The total expenditure on the project was Rs.397.61 crore by November 2013.

The revised cost of the project is estimated at around Rs.839.83 crore and has been vetted by the Finance ministry, said Kharge.

Former chief minister and Bidar MP N Dharam Singh, Humanabad MLA Rajshekhar Patil and Bhalki MLA Eshwar Khandre also spoke.

MLC Basavaraj Patil Humanabad, Chincholi MLA Dr Umesh Jadhav, ZP president Santoshamma Pundalikappa Koudyal, South Central Railway General Manager Shrivatsav and other officials were present.

Kharge to commission Khanapur-Humnabad New Rail Line, to Flag-off DEMU Passenger Train from Humnabad

Khanapur (KNP): Mallikajun Kharge, Hon’ble Minister for Railways will commission Khanapur-Humnabad New Rail Line (Part of Bidar-Gulbarga New Rail Line Project) & flag off the inaugural Humnabad-Bidar DEMU Passenger Train at a function to be held at Humnabad Railway Station at 11:30 am o­n Sunday, the 29th December, 2013.

The function will be held in the august presence of Dr.N.Dharam Singh, Hon’ble Ex. Chief Minister of Karnataka & Member of Parliament (Bidar), Smt. Umashree, Hon’ble Minister for Women & Child Development, Kannada and Cultural Department and District In-charge Minister (Bidar), Govt. of Karnataka. Other Hon’ble public representatives concerned, dignitaries and senior railway officials will also participate in the function.

The inaugural run of the DEMU Passenger o­n its flagging off will depart from Humnabad Railway Station at 11:30 hrs o­n 29th December, 2013, depart Nanagaon at 11:44 hrs, Hallikhed at 12:06 hrs, Kanaji at 12:23 hrs, Khanapur at 12:42 hrs and arrive Bidar at 13:15 hrs o­n the same day.

Regular Train services o­n this section will commence form 30th December, 2013. South Central Railway will run three DEMU Passenger trains between Bidar and Humnabad and three DEMU Passenger trains in the return direction between Humnabad and Bidar as per the following schedule:- These train services will run o­n all days of the week except o­n Thursdays and Sundays.

1)Train No.77651 Bidar-Humnabad DEMU Passenger train will depart Bidar at 05:00 hrs Khanapur at 05:20 hrs, Kanaji at 05:38 hrs, Hallikhed at 05:55 hrs, Nandagaon at 06:16 hrs. and arrive Humnabad at 06:45 hrs o­n the same day.

2) Train No. 77653 Bidar-Humnabad DEMU Passenger train will depart Bidar at 13: 30 hrs Khanapur at 13:50 hrs, Kanaji at 14:08 hrs, Hallikhed at 14:25 hrs, Nandagaon at 14:46 hrs.and arrive Humnabad at 15:15 hrs.

3) Train No. 77655 Bidar-Humnabad DEMU Passenger train will depart Bidar at 18:00 hrs Khanapur at 18:20 hrs, Kanaji at 18:38 hrs, Hallikhed at 18:55 hrs, Nandagaon at 19:16 hrs.and arrive Humnabad at 19:45 hrs.

4) Train No. 77652 Humnabad-Bidar DEMU Passenger train will depart Humnabad at 07:30 hrs, Nandagaon at 07:44 hrs, Hallikhed at 08:06 hrs, kanaji at 08:23 hrs, Khanpur at 08:42 hrs and arrive Bidar at 09:15 hrs o­n the same day.

5) Train No. 77654 Humnabad-Bidar DEMU Passenger train will depart Humnabad at 15:30 hrs, Nandagaon at 15:43 hrs, Hallikhed at 16:05 hrs, kanaji at 16:22 hrs, Khanpur at 16:40 hrs. and arrive Bidar at 17:15 hrs o­n the same day.

6) Train No. 77656 Humnabad-Bidar DEMU Passenger train will depart Humnabad at 20:00 hrs, Nandagaon at 20:13 hrs, Hallikhed at 20:35 hrs, kanaji at 20:52 hrs, Khanpur at 21:10 hrs and arrive Bidar at 21:45 hrs o­n the same day.

Special Trains between Gulbarga and Bhopal

Gulbarga (GR): Railways have decided to run two special trains between Gulbarga and Bhopal to clear the extra rush of passengers due to religious congregation ‘Ijtema’. The details of service as under:-

01221 Gulbarga – Bhopal special train will leave Gulbarga at 08.00 hrs on 13.12.2013 (Friday) and will arrive Bhopal at 04.00 hrs next day. 01222 Bhopal – Gulbarga special train will leave Bhopal at 23.00 hrs on 16.12.2013 (Monday) and will arrive Gulbarga at 23.00 hrs next day.

Halts: Solapur, Daund, Manmad, Bhusaval and Khandwa,

Composition:  6 Sleeper class, 10 General second class and 2 General second class cum guard’s brake vans.

Reservation: Bookings open from 6.12.2013.

Demand for new Railway Lines in North Karnataka

Begaum (BGM):  The Yellamma Express Rail Andolana, Ramdurg, on Tuesday submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, demanding the Railway Ministry take up construction of a railway line from Belgaum to Gadag via Bailhongal, Murgod, Yargatti, Munavalli, Yellamma Hill and Nargund.

The organisation also urged for commencing construction work for another line to connect Kudachi of Raibag taluk to Bagalkot. The Centre has already accorded clearance for these projects, organisation convener Gurusiddappa B. Toggi said.

SWR allots 8 Trains for Modi rally – Security & Surveillance beefed up in the State

BANGALORE: The South Western Railway have approved eight trains for Modi’s rally on November 17 in Bangalore. The headquarters in Hubli said that these trains will be operated with 20 coaches each and will leave their destinations on Saturday to reach Bangalore on Sunday morning.

There will be two trains from Hubli, One from Belgaum, one from Hugar, one from Bagalkot, one from Bijapur and two from Shimoga. Some of the coaches pulled for the show belong to South Western railway and some of them are sent from other divisions on approval from railway board.

Each train will cost Rs10-13 lakh depending on the distance, said officials. The train from Hugar in Belgaum would cost the most, as it is the longest distance, followed by Hubli, Belgaum and Bagalkot.

GRP/RPF on the Divisions covering the entourage of the passengers were alerted for intensive checks inside and outside the trains.  The Engineering Staff were also alerted on the Hubli and Bangalore Divisions to ensure safety of tracks and are carrying out intensive track inspections in view of the political rally to ensure safety and security of the passengers.

State’s Intelligence Bureau and sleuths from Rapid Action Force and other wings have launched surveillance and monitoring of any sort of sabotage in entire the state with the help of latest and advanced technologies that intends to cover the internet, online, telephonic, mobile and other sorts of communications.  Many of the organisations were roped in this activity till the completion of the rally.  Mobile operators like MTS, Airtel, Reliance, BSNL, Idea have set up a team to monitor any untoward activities in their subscribers’ networks.  Likewise Cyber Police Cells in association with DOT (Vigilance) are monitoring the internet traffic.

Loaded pistol found in train at Vasco

VASCO: A sub-inspector of the railway police force (RPF) in Vasco found a loaded country made pistol in an abandoned bag in the Goa Express train that arrived in Goa from Delhi early Saturday morning.

A Vasco railway police source said, “the pistol has been seized and the South Goa district magistrate has been intimated of the same.”

At about 7.30am on Saturday morning, when RPF sub-inspector Paras Ram Singh Meena, was checking the train compartments as Vasco is the last stop, he found an abandoned black and red coloured bag under a seat in the general compartment.

The bag was then brought to the police station and thoroughly checked. They found a silver colour country-made pistol with six live rounds loaded in the magazine and another four live rounds kept in the bag. A long sleeve-shirt and two long pants were also found in the abandoned bag.

As the owner of the pistol has not been identified, police said the motive will be revealed only when the person is caught.

Vasco railway police have registered the case under Section 3 r/w 25 of the Arms Act.

Goa Rail Commuters’ issues brought to South Western Railway’s notice

PANAJI: A memorandum of various issues faced by railway commuters in Goa was presented to South Western Railway’s divisional railway manager, Sanjeev Mittal, by KTCL’s chairman Carlos Almeida.

At SWR’s quarterly meeting at Hubli on Tuesday, Almeida, representing Goa, raised issues like the building of a road-over-bridge between Chandor and Margao that would connect two highways and reduce the distance between Margao and Sanvordem by about 5km.

Also discussed were adding an additional train between Vasco and Miraj, elevating the railway-over-bridge at Vasco, maintaining the railway-under-bridge at Shantinagar and reconditioning the Dabolim railway station. The post of area officer at Vasco railway station, vacant for five months, was also raised.

Mittal agreed to visit Goa to redress the issues.

Bangalore-Dharwad Siddaganga Express to Stop at Hosadurga henceforth

Bangalore / Hubli:  For the convenience of commuters from Central Karnataka, the South Western Railway has decided to provide a one-minute temporary stop at the Hosadurga railway station for the Bangalore city-Dharwad Siddaganga Intercity Express from October 1. This will be implemented for six months, on an experimental basis.

In a press release issued here on Sunday, the South Western Railway said the express, on its way to Dharwad Siddaganga, would halt at the Hosadurga station at 5.10 pm and depart at 5.11 p.m.

On its return journey, the train will halt at 9.34 a.m. and depart at 9.35 a.m., the release added.

Sanjeev Mittal IRSE takes over as New DRM of SWR Hubli Division

DRM HubliSanjeev Mittal has taken charge as Divisional Railway Manager for Hubli division of South Western Railway.

Mittal has replaced Rahul Jain who has been transferred to Central Railway, Mumbai.

Prior to this posting, Mittal was Chief Bridge Engineer, Headquarters, South Western Railway.

Mittal belongs to Indian Railway Service of Engineer (IRSE) of 1982 batch. He has graduated in civil engineering from University of Roorkee (now Indian Institute of Technology), Roorkee in 1981 and he did his post-graduation in structural engineering in 1983 from the same institution.

Train engine derails in Koppal taluk

The engine of the Hyderabad–Kolhapur Express, bound for Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, derailed near Hulugi village in Koppal taluk on Monday. However, there were no casualties.

The train left Hospet Junction at 10.15 a.m. and was going towards Munirabad station.

Eight labourers working on the track ran away on seeing the train. The loco pilot slowed down the train on being alerted by the gangmen. It stopped just before Hulagi station. However, the engine derailed.

All the passengers were sent back to Hospet after another engine was attached to the train.

There would have been heavy casualties had the train derailed on the Tungabhadra Railway Bridge, situated a few metres away. Hundreds of passengers would have washed away in the river, which is in spate.

Traffic on the Hulugi–Munirabad Road was disrupted for two hours.

Prepare DPR on Wadi-Gadag line, Kharge tells rly board

Railway Minister M Mallikarjun Kharge has directed the Railway Board to prepare at the earliest a detailed project report (DPR) on the Wadi-Gadag new railway line after the preliminary survey is completed.

The Wadi-Gadag line was of crucial importance as it could connect Hyderabad-Karnataka with Bombay-Karnataka, Kharge said after laying the foundation stone for doubling of 98-km Gulbarga-Hotgi line and construction of a fourth platform along with the foot overbridge at the Gulbarga railway station on Tuesday. At present, there is no direct train between Gulbarga and Hubli or Belgaum. Once the Wadi-Gadag railway line was constructed, the two regions would have direct connectivity, the minister added.

Kharge directed the Railway Board member (Engineering), Subodh Jain who shared the dais with him, to prepare the DPR at the earliest on the new line proposed in the Railway Budget for 2013-14. According to the minister, once the DPR was prepared and cleared by the Planning Commission, it could be taken to the Cabinet for approval. Thereafter, the project could be implemented.

Kharge further said that the railways had decided to use the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in its works. All masonry work in the railways could be taken up under the Act and the respective gram panchayats, under whose jurisdiction the railway line fell, involved for the purpose. “It will not only ensure proper and effective implementation of the Act but also help the railways to execute its works,’’ Kharge hoped, adding that discussions were held with the Union Rural Development Minister, Jairam Ramesh, and progress was expected soon.

According to Kharge, the 110-km Bidar-Gulbarga new railway line being constructed for the last 14 years would be completed in three-and-a-half-years if adequate funds were available every year.

Karnataka lagging in railway network, says Kharge

Kharge said on Tuesday that Karnataka lagged Bihar, Haryana and Assam as far as development of rail network was concerned. It was not even close to the level in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, he said.

Mr. Kharge, who laid the foundation stone here for the Rs. 350-crore railway line doubling work between Gulbarga and Hotgi railway stations, said that while Karnataka had 16 per cent railway lines for every 1,000 sq km of area, Bihar, which topped the country, had 38 per cent railway lines for 1,000 sq km area.

He said that Haryana and Assam were the two other States with high growth of railway infrastructure. While Haryana had 34 per cent of railway lines for every 1,000 sq km area, Assam had 31 per cent railway lines for every 1,000 sq km area. Andhra Pradesh had 19.4 per cent railway lines per 1,000 sq km and Maharashtra 18.20 per cent railway lines per 1,000 sq km.

“It would be impossible for Karnataka to match the kind of development that had taken place in Bihar, Haryana or Assam. It would take a great amount of investment to match the railway infrastructure available in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh,” Mr. Kharge said.

“I have very little time left before the next Lok Sabha elections but I have initiated steps to bridge the gap in railway infrastructure development in Karnataka,” he added. Mr. Kharge said that the line doubling between Gulbarga and Hotgi would help the Railways to increase the speed of existing trains and also run more new trains on the Mumbai-Chennai and Mumbai-Bangalore route. This work would be completed within 30 months, he said.

He said that there was emphasis now on completing the long-pending railway projects, including the Gulbarga-Bidar railway line.

Mr. Kharge said that it had been decided to take up a survey to prepare a detailed project report for the proposed Wadi-Gadag new railway line to provide connectivity between Hyderabad Karnataka region and Mumbai Karnataka region. The project would be taken up on cost-sharing basis between the Union and State governments.

General Manager of Central Railways B.P. Khare welcomed the gathering. The former Chief Minister and MP N. Dharam Singh and MLC Allamprabhu Patil spoke.

Hospet-Vasco link: Parrikar says no to doubling rail track

In a major setback to the South Western Railway’s proposed doubling of track between Karnataka (Hospet) and Vasco, the Goa government has refused permission to lay the double track in its jurisdiction.

“I have refused the permission to double the track of South Western Railway in Goa. We don’t want it,” state Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters today.

The state is happy with the single line and does not need to double it, Parrikar said.

“We are not giving any permission for the double tracking,” he said, adding that the proposal of increasing the tracks was mooted at the behest of few industries which want to transport coal from Mormugao Port Trust.

The industrial activity in the state is unlikely to be increased due to this new project, he said.
“The double track can be laid up to Goa border but within the state limits we won’t allow,” he added.

Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), state’s apex industrial body, had earlier supported the doubling of the track claiming that with the current line capacity, the South Western Railway can run only 12 trains (in a day)- both freight and passenger trains together.

“The capacity cannot be improved without this much needed step. This would also help improve the rail traffic to and from the hinterland,” the GCCI had said.

Kharge lays foundation stone for doubling of Railway Line between Hospet-Tinaighat section

DSC_6031
Foundation Stone HubliShri Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister for Railways laid the Foundation Stone for doubling of Railway line between Hospet-Tinaighat section (245 Kms) at 3-00 p.m., on Saturday, the 13th July, 2013 at Londa High School Grounds, Londa.

The Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Tinaighat (245 km) is a section of Bellary-Hospet-Vasco-da-gama route (407 kms) of South Western Railway. This was converted from Metre Gauge to Broad Gauge during 1997 and the section is saturated with current level of traffic.

12bg_Railway_Netwo_1515156fThe railway line passes through Bellary, Koppal, Gadag, Dharwad, Belgaum and Uttara Kannada districts of Karnataka State. Bellary-Hospet region in Karnataka is the heart of Iron ore industry in the country. Iron ore is an important export commodity, earning valuable foreign exchange for the country. Iron ore from this region is transported to Chennai and Goa ports for export. The doubling of railway track is also necessary to move imported coal from Marmagao Port to the Steel industries and upcoming Thermal Power Plants in Jevargi In Gulbarga District, Thermal Expansion Phase-2 in Bellary Dist. in North Karnataka. Thus, it is important to increase the capacity of the existing Rail network to handle additional traffic demand necessary to sustain the country’s economic growth. The doubling will also increase number of passenger trains connecting important Tourist destinations like Goa in the west to the World heritage site of Hampi in the East and help in promoting tourism in the North Karnataka.

Considering potential traffic in the future, the Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Tinaighat-Vasco-da-Gama(407 Km) doubling was sanctioned by Railway Board at a total cost of Rs.2,127 Crs. in 2010-11. The work of Hospet-Tinaighat (245 km) is being taken up under Phase-I, with a cost of Rs.928.85 Crs. The final location survey is now in progress in the Castle Rock-Kulem ghat section. This project is partially funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (A Govt. of India Enterprise) is the implementing Agency.

On completion of the project, more passenger trains could be introduced in this section to facilitate easy movement of passengers to visit tourist places rich in heritage.

Bidar-Humnabad railway line to open on Oct 2

The Bidar-Humnabad railway line will become operational on Gandhi Jayanti day (October 2). The line is part of the Bidar-Gulbarga line, which is under construction.

Announcing this here on Thursday, at a felicitation function organised by the District Congress, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said that a push pull train would run on the Bidar-Humnabad-Bidar route, as work on 60 km of the 105-km Bidar-Gulbarga line had been completed. The new line will benefit people of Bidar district immensely, he said.

For the early completion of this, he said, he had sanctioned an additional Rs 110 crore as against the provision of Rs 10 crore in this year’s budget. The project would be completed in three years. The line would have a 1.5 km-long tunnel at Margutti village and the foundation stone for the Rs 60-crore tunnel would be laid shortly.

Another major component is the construction of a railway bridge across the Bennithora rivulet at a cost of Rs 20 crore, which will also be started soon.

The other decisions announced by Kharge include converting the tri-weekly Solapur-Yeshwantpur Express into a daily train by August end or in the first week of September, commencement of electrification work on the Wadi-Gulbarga line and doubling of the Gulbarga-Hotgi line shortly, both with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank.

PM, Sonia promise funds

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had agreed to extend additional finance to the fund- starved Railways for its massive development and expansion plans, Kharge said.

The minister said he had already met the two leaders and convinced them of the need to extend additional finance from the general pool to the railways and both had agreed to oblige. He, however, could not specify the quantum of additional funds sought.

He said the Indian Railways was facing a huge burden of salaries to 14 lakh employees and pensions to 12 lakh retired employees. This came to Rs 80,000 crore per year, out of the Railway budget outlay of Rs 1.43 lakh crore. The Railways, with a line network of 60,000 km and carrying 2.18 crore people every day, is the third biggest railway network in the world, he said.

Arasalu residents renew demand for Shimoga-Talaguppa passenger train

A delegation comprising residents of Arasalu and surrounding villages met Vinod Kumar, Divisional Manager of South West Railways, here on Saturday and submitted a memorandum to him to introduce Shimoga-Talaguppa passenger train at the earliest.

Kallur Megharaj, managing trustee of Shantaveri Gopala Gowda Samajawadi Adhyayana Trust, said that in the Union Railway budget of 2013-14 it was announced that a passenger train between Shimoga and Talaguppa would be introduced. It was unfortunate that this train service was yet to commence, he said.

While inaugurating the Shimoga-Talaguppa broadgauge railway line in August 2012, K.H. Muniyappa, who was Union Minister of State for Railway then, had assured that he would direct Railway officials to ensure that Talaguppa-Bangalore train stopped at Kotegangur, Ripponpet, Arasalu stations en route Shimoga to Talaguppa. The promise was not fulfilled, he said.

He urged for an addition of two more coaches to Talaguppa-Bangalore train.

As Honnali-Byndoor road was located near Arasalu railway station, passengers from Honnali, Shikaripur, Hosanagar, and Kundapur taluks would be benefited if the train stopped here.

Repair

He also urged the Department of Railway to repair the building of Arasalu railway station that has become dilapidated. Ex-MLC G. Madappa, President of Anna Hazare Horata Samiti K.V. Vasanth Kumar, social activists Sarjashankar Haralimath, T.R. Krishnappa, and residents of Arasalu S.G. Ranganath, Rajanna were a part of the delegation.

Kharge puts Railway Projects on fast track in Karnataka

Rs.300 crore each from Railway Ministry and State government to give added thrust
02BG_KHARGE_1504431g

Minister for Railways M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said his Ministry and the Karnataka government have decided to pump in Rs.300 crore each to speed up some ongoing railway projects in the state.

Mr. Kharge was speaking to press persons after a review meeting on the progress of railway projects in Karnataka.

He said projects that were found feasible for speedy completion have been identified. “The time is less, we have just eight to ten months,” he said, indicating the impending Lok Sabha elections and the urgency behind completing the projects.

He said the Ministry had sanctioned Rs. 1,200 crore for various projects in the State in the 2013-14 Railway budget. Considering the slow pace of progress of several key projects, the Ministry has decided to sanction Rs. 300 crore more and the Karnataka government too has agreed to release an equal amount, Mr. Kharge said.

The 59 km Gadwal-Raichur new line, foundation stone for which was laid in 2002, will be commissioned in three months. Doubling and electrification of the line between Gulbarga and Hotagi on Gulbarga-Solapur line will be quickened to finish in two years, Mr. Kharge said. Work on doubling line between Dharwad and Tinaighat in Uttara Kannada will start shortly.

He asked the government to speed up land acquisition near Kunigal Stud Farm on the Bangalore-Hassan new line and sort out the lacunae. Similarly, work on Humnabad-Gulbarga stretch of the 104 km Bidar-Gulbarga new line would be speeded up, Mr. Kharge said.  The Bidar-Gulbarga project has been pending for many years. Directions have been issued to complete the project from Gulbarga to Humnabad in three months. If the State government provides land, the Kottur-Harihara project will be completed in three months, he promised.

Newly laid lines between Kadur-Chikmagalur and Kolar-Chickballapur will be commissioned soon, the Minister added.

The Archaeological Survey of India has given the green signal for shifting Tippu’s armoury near Srirangapatna. Once it is done, Ramanagar-Mysore doubling project will be completed at the earliest. The Railways is committed to set up a railway coach factory in Kolar. The project will be taken up once the government gives the land, he said.

Mangalore Division

As far as creating Mangalore Railway division and bringing it under either SWR or Konkan Railway Corporation, Mr. Kharge said its feasibility too would be examined.

Gulbarga division

Asked whether he will carve out a separate division for the Gulbarga region in the Railways, he said he had directed officials to prepare a feasibility report in this regard.

“The Railways had some years ago said creating a separate Gulbarga division was not feasible. But, I have asked the officials to once again prepare the report,” he said.  However, there has been consistent demand from the people; I had also fought for the new division,” he said.

Asked whether he will seek supplementary budgetary allocations for the Railways, the Minister said his focus is now on speeding up the ongoing projects.

“We have very less time now. Projects have to be completed in eight to nine months,” he stated.

On the proposal to introduce a commuter rail network for Bangalore, Kharge said he will examine whether it is feasible.

35 injured in train mishap near Chitradurga

Chitradurga (Karnataka), Jun 25:  Thirty five persons were injured when a railway engine rammed into a stationary Mysore-bound passenger train at Chikkajajur in Chitradurga district this evening, police said.

The Hubli-Arsikere-Mysore train had halted at the station when the incident happened due to a mix up in signal that resulted in the engine coming on the same track, they said.

South Western Railway, Hubli Division had depute the officials from its Operating, Traffic, Engineering and Medical departments to render rescue and relief operations.

Hubli-Ankola line still a Mirage

Hubli: The proposed 163-km long railway line between Hubli and Ankola, which connects the north Karnataka hinterland to the Karwar Port, appears to be a never-ending wait for the people of the state.

Almost 62 years have elapsed and more than Rs.300 crore spent on laying the track covering a distance of about 45 km and creating infrastructure facilities. But yet the project got grounded after the railway authorities failed to get the environmental clearance from the union ministry of environment and forest indicating that the introduction of train services is likely to take longer.

Now there is a renewed hope after Mallikarjun M Kharge was made the minister of railways. The project requires not just the environmental clearance but also additional Rs 3,000 crore. I don’t think both are viable considering that he has short tenure,” said BJPstate unit president PrahladJoshi

There is another rider too. Now that the UNESCO has declared the Western Ghats (through which the proposed railway line will pass) as World Heritage site, it will be another Herculean task to get the green nod.

It all started in 1951 when then president of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce, Hubli S S Yelmali made a formal demand for Hubli-Karwar railway line. But then union minster of state for railways and transport K Santhanam turned it down saying he did not think the volume of traffic justified the construction of the line at a huge cost.

After a lot of hue and cry in the early 1990s, the Railway Board sanctioned it in 1996 and work started in 2001. The 45-km stretch of railway line has already been completed from Hubli toKalghatagi. Presently, the issue of environment clearance is pending before the Supreme court forKalghatagi-Ankola stretch since the area comes under forest zone.

Environmentalist who filed a petition in the Supreme court argue that the proposed railway line would destroy large-green patches in the Western ghats, one of the bio-diversity hotspots in the world. I don’t think now the centre will deem it fit to give its nod to the project when they themselves have agreed it as a special site,” said

Earlier, an IISc team had studied the biological diversity, ecology and environment in the region between Hubli and Ankola. According to the team, a total of 1,134 hectares of land will be completely degraded with the implementation of the project. It has noted that the rail line would pass through the sensitive tiger reserve area.

To minimize the damage, the expert team had also suggested for construction of many tunnels and bridges. Accordingly South Western Railway mooted a new plan but still it still has failed to impress the SC-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC). The government is hoping that the CEC will visit again to reassess the possibility of giving the clearance.