Karnataka: Track doubling between Padil and Jokatte to be completed by March 2019

MANGALURU: MP Nalin Kumar Kateel has said on Wednesday that work on rail track doubling between Padil and Jokatte will be completed by March 2019.

This fact came to the fore during a meeting called by the MP to review the progress of railway and national highway projects in Dakshina Kannada.

“Work on the tunnel will take about a year to complete. Once this 10-km long double track is commissioned, it will decongest the train traffic between Thokuru and Mangaluru Junction that forms the main passage for all traffic that moves towards Konkan Railway and receives traffic from there.”

An official of Southern Railway that is commissioning this project said track doubling is an important project that the zonal railway has taken up and is aimed at ensuring better North-South train traffic connectivity.

Responding to a demand by an activist to re-introduce Mangaluru-Miraj train via Sakleshpur-Hassan-Arsikere, another railway official said this could be considered from Mangaluru Junction and not Mangaluru Central railway station. Ever since the metre gauge line was dismantled in 1994-95, Mangaluru-Miraj train service has not been reintroduced. While goods trains began operating on this stretch in 2006, passenger trains started later.

G Hanumanth Kamath, president, Nagarika Hitarakshana Samiti said division of Southern Railway earned the highest revenue from Mangaluru. Notwithstanding this, the division continued to show “step-motherly” attitude to Mangaluru as it did not take up and complete the railway projects at the expected speed. A case in point is not building additional platform at Mangaluru Central station as well as the second entrance gate, he noted.

Sudarshan Puttur, railway activist averred that carving out Mangaluru railway division from Palakkad could help to address the injustice that is being meted out to railway needs and aspirations of this coastal city. Without committing himself to this emotional demand, the MP said that there are many problems in this regard. The union government has sanctioned Rs 1,500 crore for railway projects in Mangaluru region since 2014, he noted.
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