Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today laid the foundation stone for doubling of the railway line in the Nethravati-Mangaluru section and the foot over bridge at Mangaluru Central railway station here through video conference from New Delhi. Nalin Kumar Kateel MP, city mayor Kavita Sanil and other dignitaries inaugurated the programme at the Mangaluru Central railway station by lighting a lamp. Addressing the audience through video conference, Prabhu said several projects were being launched at eight different railway stations across Karnataka. Only Rs 835 crore was allotted to railways for the state earlier. The grant was increased to Rs 2,200 crore during 2014-17 period, an increase of 163 per cent from the previous government’s budget.
During 2017-18, the budget had been increased to Rs 3,174 crore. This was the highest-ever allocation to the state and the government had now sanctioned Rs 60 crore for 10 doubling works, an electrification scheme and other new projects being taken up. Mayor Kavita Sanil, who also spoke, congratulated the Railways for the initiative taken to launch two new projects in Mangaluru Central railway station. She also demanded that Mangaluru be made a separate railway division.
Kateel said Dakshina Kannada district had received Rs 1,500 crore in the last three years. Mangaluru was set to become a Smart City and several development projects were being initiated by the Centre. Five railway stations, including Mangaluru had been identified under PPP model to be developed into world-class railway stations, he said. The proposed foot overbridge will connect platforms one with two and three and measure 25 metre in length and 3 metre in width. The total cost had been estimated at Rs 90 lakh.
The project of doubling the 1.5 km stretch of Nethravati to Mangaluru Central was sanctioned by the Railway ministry in 2016-17. The detailed project report had been submitted to the railway board. The project, expected to cost Rs 28.03 crore, also envisages modification of two road overbridges.