Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bidar-Gulbarga link route would reduce duration of travel by four-five hours to Delhi.

‘Karnataka needs more trains and lines’

Though Karnataka has been making rapid progress in terms of urbanisation, lack of better rail connectivity between places within the state and to other places in the country continues to be a dampener.

With the railway budget just around the corner, DNA takes a look at important lines that need to be taken up to provide better access to different parts of the state.

The Tumkur-Davangere and Dharwad-Belgaum lines, when completed, will reduce the distance to Mumbai by four-five hours and 150-170 km. Then there is Gadag-Haveri line, which will reduce travelling distance from north Karnataka to south.

“This will be the shortest route connecting north and south Karnataka as it will bypass Hubli,” said Prakash Mandoth, former member of the Zonal Railway User’s Consultative Committee, Southern and South Western Railway.

He said the Gulbarga-Bidar line would provide the shortest route to Delhi by saving about 200 km and reducing duration of travel by four-five hours. He said this line would also connect Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region and parts of Madhya Pradesh that are not linked to Karnataka.

The Munirabad-Mahbubnagar line will connect Gingera, Hitnal, Sandur, Manvi as well as Raichur and provide an easy route to Andhra Pradesh, instead of the one via Guntakal, which is longer.

Mandoth said: “At present, we have to travel longer to reach many places. For instance, currently, the route to Mumbai goes through Tiptur and Arasikere. The new route via Tumkur-Davangere and Dharwad-Belgaum will act as a trunk with many feeder routes branching out—from Chikmagalur you can go towards Kadur and Birur; from Birur to Shimoga; from Chikjajur to Bellary and from Hubli to Gadag, Hospet and Bijapur. It will also provide better connectivity to historical places such as Kathakal, Hampi, Badami, Aihole and Bijapur.

There is an urgent need to double and electrify the Bangalore-Mysore line and the new Bangalore-Hassan line. Though the line from Hassan to Shravanabelagola (42 km) has been completed, the Bangalore-Nelamangala line, despite completion, has not been commissioned.

“The completion of this line will give us the shortest route to Mangalore, which is the only port in Karnataka. It will also provide easy access to the east and west coasts,” he said.

Source: DNA