Participants at the railway review committee meeting of the Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency charged Southern Railway (SR) with abnormally delaying the construction of two additional platforms at Mangaluru Central thereby denying new trains to different parts of the State.
Raising the issue, activist Sudarshan Puttur said the demand is more than a decade old. Even though the project was sanctioned three years ago, Palakkad Division of SR did little to carry forward the project, he said.
Another activist G. Hanumanth Kamath alleged that SR always cites the lack of platforms to introduce new trains to different parts of Karnataka while it shows no interest in executing sanctioned works.
Divisional Railway Manager of Palakkad Pratap Singh Shami said that the construction of new platforms as well as doubling of a 1.5-km line between Netravathi cabin and Mangaluru Central is taken up by the construction wing of the SR. Additional platforms require shifting of stabling and pit-lines and the work may start by this year-end, he said.
Since Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, who presided over the meeting had left by then following an urgent meeting, no directions were issued to Railways.
The Centre had sanctioned 1 lakh (estimated cost 6.6 crore) for additional platforms and 5 crore in 2017 for line doubling, and 40 lakh for new PFs in 2018.
To another query on a world-class station at Mangaluru, the SR said it had sent proposal to the Ministry for the redevelopment of Mangaluru Central as of now. On the closure of goods shed railway yard and shifting it to Ullal, Mr. Shami said it cannot be done.
Responding to the demand for a road overbridge connecting the APMC at Puttur, Mysuru DRM Aparna Garg said the Railway was ready to do it under cost-sharing basis [total cost 12 crore].
The APMC representative said the committee had decided to share 3 crore while Mr. Kateel said remaining 3 crore has to be borne by the State government. On widening the RoB connecting Puttur Vivekananda College, Ms. Garg said Railways cannot spend on it while Vivekananda College representative said the institutes engineering college would provide a cheaper solution.
The DRM asked for a blueprint so that they could go ahead with the proposal.