Mysuru: The fight against Railway lines in Kodagu will continue till an official communication comes from the Railway Ministry that both the Railway lines via Kodagu — Thalassery-Mysuru and Mysuru-Kushalnagar — are scrapped.
This was disclosed by Coorg Wildlife Society President Colonel (Retd.) C.P. Muthanna, who is spearheading the movement against mindless Railway projects that will destroy the eco-sensitive Kodagu.
Reacting to Star of Mysore report on the assurance given by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to a delegation from Kodagu that met him in New Delhi urging him to scrap the Thalassery-Mysuru project via South Kodagu, Col. Muthanna said that the Minister, however, was silent on the Mysuru-Kushalnagar line.
“I am happy that the Minister has agreed to scrap the Thalassery-Mysuru line and it is great news for the people of Kodagu who are opposing the same. We have won the first battle. But the Minister has been silent on the other line. RTI replies have indicated that the Railway line till Kushalnagar was still on and there is a plan to extend it to Mangaluru via Madikeri,” he said.
Pointing out the ongoing construction of a Railway Board Office at the Stuart Hill in Madikeri, he said that if there was no plan to construct Mysuru-Kushalnagar Railway line why would the Railways build its office, along with accommodation infrastructure to officers, in Madikeri?
He demanded the Railway Ministry and the South Western Railway to come clean on the issue. “If we allow the train to Kushalnagar, it is definite that it will cut through Madikeri to reach Mangaluru, damaging the catchment area of River Cauvery. We do not need a Railway line to Kodagu,” he reiterated.
While allotting a Railway project either the commercial viability of the route or social service (where road-less remote areas are connected with Railways) is taken to consideration. “The Mysuru-Mangaluru line is neither commercially viable nor is it a social service as the places are well-connected through good and wide roads. I don’t understand why the Railways is hell-bent on this line,” he observed.