Mangalore Railway division likely to remain a dream

The shifting of D.V. Sadananda Gowda from the Railways to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice is being seen, by and large, as a setback to railway projects in the State.
“It is bad luck to Karnataka that he has shifted,” said Krishna Prasad K.N., a Bengaluru-based observer of railway projects in the State. With this, the creation of the Gulbarga and Mangalore Railway divisions would remain “a daydream”, he said.
Though the Gulbarga division has been sanctioned, nothing is happening on the ground due to lack of funds, he said. “Mr. Sadananda Gowda [as Railway Minister] was accessible,” he said.
The former president of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mohammad Amin said that Mr. Sadananda Gowda had held a couple of meetings on the KCCI demand for better rail connectivity to Mangalore port.
He hoped that the new Minister, Suresh Prabhu, would continue it, as it was the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide rail connectivity to ports.
It is also feared that Mr. Sadananda Gowda’s moving out of the Ministry could result in stunted progress of projects. Fund flow for new lines such as Kottur-Gadwal, Sakleshpur-Chikkamagaluru, Bagalkot-Kudchi, Davangere- Tumakuru will become doubtful, said Savjeev Dyamannavar of, an online forum dedicated mostly to debating railway issues.
Electrification of the Bengaluru-Hubballi and Guntakal-Hubballi lines, for which feasibility survey has been conducted, would have received some attention if Mr. Sadananda Gowda had continued, he said.
Activists such as R.L. Dias of Udupi Yathri Sangha are, however, not regretting the change. Mr. Dias said that the Minister had not given attention to projects on the coast. He could not even order a survey for an alternative line proposed to Bengaluru via Karkala and Moodigere, Mr. Dias said.