This is evident in the ‘Pink Book’ that contains details of allocations forvarious projects
The allocation of funds in the general budget for various railway projects includes surveys for three new railway lines in the Mysuru Division.
They are surveys for a new railway line connecting Mysuru with Thalassery in Kerala, covering a distance of 300 km, and a Hassan-Belur-Chikamagalur-Sringeri-Shivamogga line covering about 150 km. In addition, a new line, identified under Capital Investment Programme to be taken up as a joint venture with the Government of Karnataka, between Shivamogga-Shikaripura-Ranibennur at a cost of Rs. 1,700 crore too has been approved.
This is evident in the ‘Pink Book’ that contains the details of allocations for various projects that the respective divisions received here on Friday.
Support from Kerala
The Mysuru-Thalassery railway line was mooted almost 57 years ago and has been dropped in the past as the alignment cut through environmentally sensitive regions including forests. The new survey is expected to bypass the forest region and take a detour in a bid to get environmental clearance. However, issues such as returns on investments persist. The project has tremendous support in Kerala as it will provide a new rail link to Bengaluru via Mysuru and is expected to boost travel and trade in the region. However, another railway line survey linking Nanjangud and Nilambur proposed a few years ago finds no mention. There are proposals of merging the two routes.
But there is no mention of allocation for the Mysuru-Madikeri railway line or for the new terminal for the city which was a key demand placed before the authorities to decongest the existing station. However, allocations have been made for the ongoing rail line project linking Kadur-Chikkamagaluru-Sakleshpur (93 km), of which the stretch between Chikkamagaluru and Sakleshpur remains to be covered; for the Shimvamogga-Harirar line, Kottur-Harihar, and Arsikere-Tumakuru among others.
The emphasis on freight as a major revenue generator is evident in the identification of 9 stations in the Mysuru Division, along which there is significant iron-ore movement. An allocation of Rs. 50 crore has been made to strengthen and standardise layouts of these stations.
The Pink Book indicates that 19 level crossings will be eliminated in the Mysuru Division through diversion to the nearby manned crossings in a bid to eliminate all unmanned rail level crossings by 2020 across the country.
The development of the Rail Museum in Mysuru may pick up pace as it has received Rs. 1.13 crore. Despite efforts to augment the collections, expand the area and introduce new exhibits, progress has been slow. - The Hindu