Deshpande urges Centre to expedite work on Hubballi – Ankola railway line

From Our Special Correspondent

Daijiworld Media Network

Bengaluru, June 6: Senior Congress leader and former Industry Minister R V Deshpahde has urged the Narendra Modi government to expedite work on the long pending broad gauge railway line between Hubballi and Ankola for the development of the Northern Karnataka region.

Deshpande, who has released copies of his letter to Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, said the railway line can play a catalytic role in the development of the Northern Karnataka region, which has been acknowledged as a backward region.

He said in the 14th Meeting of State board wildlife held March 20, 2020, it has been recommended for diversion of 595.64 hectares of forest land in Karwar, Yellapur and Dharwad Divisions for the construction of new broad gauge railway line of Hubballi–Ankola. 

He urged the Union Minister to accord sanction for the diversion of forest land to this important rail link.

In his two-page letter, Deshpande said the Ministry of Railways had sanctioned the construction of a broad-gauge railway line from Hubballi to Ankola for around 168 kms linking Hubballi with the existing Konkan railway line in the year 1997-98.

``This was to provide a direct rail link from North Karnataka hinterland to the west coast of Karnataka. The initial work on portion of the track up to Kalaghatagi has already been done,’’ he said. 

The Congress leader mentioned that the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had laid the foundation stone for the project.

The Hubballi–Ankola railway line would be a boon for the development of the backward region of North Karnataka as it connects coastal Karnataka to the hinterland.

The railway line proposed between Hubballi–Ankola becomes the most important feeder artery, connecting the proposed port at Belekeri to the industry being developed in the Northern and North Eastern part of Karnataka.

The development of transport and Industrial Infrastructure in this region could significantly influence the economic activity and create large scale employment, Karnataka’s former Industry Minister said.

The road capacity of NH 63 between Hubballi and Ankola was very limited and widening was not a viable alternative as it causes much more pollution than a railway line.

The safety was is also an issue because of number of accidents occurring on this stretch of NH. The development of the Indian Navy’s Seabird, Kaiga nuclear power project and other large ports coming up in this area would benefit a lot from this railway line.

If the cargo is transported from a port in Uttar Kannada through this railway connection, there was immense boost and savings for the industry, Deshpande said.



Title : Deshpande urges Centre to expedite work on Hubballi – Ankola railway line


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