Bangalore, July 1 (IANS) Half-a-dozen pending rail projects in Karnataka would be expeditiously completed in the 2013-14 fiscal with additional funds and early acquisition of land, Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said Monday.
“We hope the state government will soon allot lands required for projects pending for long and sanction its share of the cost in its ensuing 2013-14 state budget,” Kharge told reporters after reviewing the status of some projects that got delayed due to various factors.
On his first visit to the city after becoming the fourth railway minister in the second UPA government last month, Kharge, who hails from north Karnataka, said he had instructed the officials to take up all pending projects on a war-footing to complete them in nine months before the next general elections.
“In addition to the Rs.900 crore allocated in the railway budget for the projects in the state, including laying of new tracks, doubling of single line and electrification, Rs.600 crore will be spent to ensure their completion, with the central and state governments contributing equal amount (Rs.300 crore each),” he said.
Among the pending projects are: the 45-km Kadur-Chikmagalur new line; the 97-km Kolar-Chikballapur gauge conversion; the 58-km Gadwal-Raichur new broad gauge line; doubling of the 17-km Hubli-Dharwad line and 140-km Bidar-Gulbarga new line at a revised cost of Rs.881 crore.
The Kadur-Chimagalur line project, which has been pending since 1978, is estimated to cost Rs.170 crore and the original estimate of the Gadwal-Raichur project was Rs.109 crore a decade ago, while that for the Gadwal-Raichur section was Rs.320 crore.
“Laying of track has been completed from Bidar to Humnabad and from Gulbarga to Humnabad is underway. The state government has agreed to allocate Rs.60 crore this fiscal as its share of the project,” Kharge said.
Kharge said doubling of tracks between Bangalore and Tumkur (70 km) and new line between Bangalore and Hassan via Arasikere (200 km) would be stepped up for direct route to Mangalore.
“Similarly, doubling of line between Bangalore and Mysore (140 km) will be speeded up after relocating the Tipu Sultan’s armoury at Srirangapatnam between Mandya and Mysore. Global tenders will be called soon for shifting the armoury from the route,” Kharge added.