Courtesy: DHNS Delhi
Bangalore, Feb 25: The budget gives four new trains to Karnataka (none of which the state government had asked for).
The Railway Budget 2006-07 is a mixed bag for Karnataka. While the state gets a fair share in the slew of new trains introduced, Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav, however, ignored it when it came to allocating funds to the ongoing projects.
The budget gives four new trains to Karnataka (none of which the state government had asked for). They are: Yeshwantpur (Bangalore)-Ajmer Garib Nawab Express, Bangalore-Darbhanga Express via Chennai and Patna and Tatanagar-Yeshwantpur (all weekly) and Chennai-Mangalore (tri-weekly). The following trains have been extended: Bangalore-Bijapur Express to Bagalkot, Solapur-Bijapur to Bagalkot and Mysore-Kumbakonam Express to Mayiladuturai (all post gauge conversion) and Bangalore-Visakhapatnam Prashanti Express to Bhubaneshwar.
Mr Yadav announced that four popular trains including Bangalore-Chennai Brindavan Express would be modernised with world-class amenities and interiors.
The frequency of following trains have been increased: Bangalore-Ernakulam Express from weekly to bi-weekly, Bangalore-Miraj Passenger from five to six days a week, Belgaum-Miraj Passenger from four to six days a week and Bangalore-Guwahati Express from bi-weekly to tri-weekly. The minister has changed the route of the Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express between Nizamuddin (Delhi) and Yeshwantpur via Gulbarga so as to cover more territory in the state. It will henceforth run via Yeshwantpur, Arsikere, Hubli, Pune etc.
The budget assures that the broadgauge conversion of Kolar-Chickballapur (95 km, Rs 99 crore project) would be taken up in this year.
Basavana Bagewadi-Bagalkot of Solapur-Gadag line and Mysore-Chamarajanagar gauge conversion projects and Yeshwantpur-Tumkur and Hospet-Torangal doubling projects would be completed in 2006-07. Kolar MP and Union Highways Minister K H Muniyappa welcomed the Kolar-Chickballapur project saying it would help transportation of horticulture products and milk from the Kolar region.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, when he met Yadav on Wednesday, had demanded speedy completion of the Gulbarga-Munirabad, Hubli-Ankola and Kottur-Harihar lines, besides the Bangalore-Mysore doubling project but the minister has disappointed the former by not allocating the required funds. If one sifts through the voluminous “Explanatory Memorandum” of the budget, one can find that Kottur-Harihar (Project cost: Rs 130 crore) has not been allocated any funds at all, while Hassan-Shravanabelagola gets Rs 31 crore, Hubli-Ankola (Rs 997 crore) Rs 10 crore and Bangalore-Satyamangalam (Rs 901 crore) a paltry Rs 1 lakh.
For gauge conversion, Mysore-Hassan (Rs 191 crore) gets Rs 1 lakh, Yeshwantpur-Salem (Rs 199 crore) Rs 1 lakh, Mysore-Chamarajanagar (Rs 606 crore) Rs 45 crore, Yelahanka-Chickballapur and Kolar-Bangarpet (Rs 60 crore) Rs 1 lakh, Shimoga-Talguppa (Rs 441 crore) Rs 22.59 cr and Solapur-Gadag (Rs 268 crore) Rs 20 crore.
For doubling, Whitefield-Kuppam (Rs 219 crore) gets Rs 1 crore, Bangalore-Kengeri (Rs 24 crore) Rs 12 crore, Kengeri-Ramanagaram (Rs 67 crore) Rs 5 crore, Yeshwantpur-Tumkur (Rs 98 crore) Rs 11 crore and Bangalore-K R Puram (Rs 85 crore) Rs 1 lakh.
For the Hubli diesel loco shed, Rs 2.43 crore has been earmarked for housing 50 locos and for K R Puram shed Rs 1.8 crore has been given for augmentation of homing capacity. For the setting up of the South Western Railway zone at Hubli, a sum of Rs 12.2 crore has been earmarked and it still requires Rs 26 crore (estimated total cost Rs 81 crore).
Reacting to the railway budget, former minister and MP Ananth Kumar said: “Karnataka has suffered gross injustice. It is unfortunate that important works such as gauge conversion, electrification and doubling have been ignored. The Bijapur-Gadag conversion, new lines like Bidar-Gulbarga, Hubli-Ankola and Banglaore-Mangalore, doubling of Bangalore-Mysore and Bangalore-Tumkur which are already behind schedule, have been ignored. There is no blue-print for South Western Railway zone development and this again is an instance of neglect of Karnataka by the UPA government.”
Sectors AC Ist Class Fares AC II Tier Fares
Current Proposed* Current Proposed**
B’lore-Delhi 4458 3655 2333 2100
B’lore-Delhi (Rajdhani) NS NS 3070 2763
B’lore-Mumbai NS NS 1637 1474
B’lore-Kolkata NS NS 2159 1943
B’lore-Trivandrum NS NS 1232 1109
B’lore-Chennai 1402 1149 747 672
B’lore-Hyderabad 2224 1823 1184 1066
B’lore-Jaipur 4461 3658 2330 2097
B’lore-Guwahati NS NS 2555 2300
All fares in Rs, *Fares estimated on the basis of 18% reduction,
**Fares estimated on the basis of 10% reduction. NS: No service
STATE GETS 4 NEW TRAINS
Yeshwantpur-Ajmer Express Weekly
B’ore -Darbhanga Express (Via Chennai) Weekly
Yeshwantpur-Tatanagar Express Weekly
Mangalore-Chennai Express Tri Weekly