Mysuru-Kushalnagar Railway Line sanctioned

Mysuru-Kushalnagar Railway Line sanctioned

February 28, 2019

MP Pratap Simha makes announcement on Twitter

Mysuru: An 87-km Railway Line between Belagola in Mysuru and Kushalnagar in Kodagu has been sanctioned by the South Western Railways (SWR). The development was disclosed by Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha on Twitter last evening, before an official announcement by the Railways. In his tweet, Simha thanked Railway Minister Piyush Goyal saying, “New Railway Line between Mysuru and Kushalnagar (87 Kms) APPROVED! Total cost 1854 crores. Thank u @PiyushGoyal ji n thank u all.”

The attached note issued by Dhananjaya Singh, Director, Works, Railway Board, shared by Simha in the same tweet said, “The competent authority has accorded approval for inclusion of Mysuru (Belagola)-Kushalnagar new line project (87 Km) at a cost of Rs.1,854.62 crore (Rupees one thousand eight hundred fifty four crore and sixty two lakh only) chargeable to Capital under the Umbrella Work of New Lines subject to requisite approvals. This project will appear with # mark in Pink Book.”

Once a project is approved, it enters the “Pink Book” of Railways and the project will be implemented. The Mysuru-Madikeri Railway Line Project, in recent times, was first proposed in the UPA era in 2011 and was shelved after a survey commissioned by the Railways deemed the route to be unprofitable.

The Railway Line was listed in the Railway Budget 2016-17 under “new line” category at an estimated cost of Rs.667 crore and the techno-economic survey was completed. But the project — originally mooted over 100 years ago — did not gain further traction. The funding was to be made under the extra budgetary allocation, but the project was stuck in the maze of bureaucracy.

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The Railways had conducted a detailed survey for the Mysuru-Kushalnagar Line but the survey for the Kushalnagar-Madikeri section could not be conducted as the Forest Department did not give permission for the same. Now, the project has been approved till Kushalnagar.

CWS reacts

Reacting to the project clearance, President of Coorg Wildlife Society (CWS) President K.C. Biddappa said that the Railway Line up to Kushalnagar was a welcome move but the project should not be extended to Madikeri at any cost.

Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, Biddappa said, “We are not against development. If there is a Railway Line till Kushalnagar from Mysuru, we welcome the same. But the project must not be extended to Madikeri as it will cause severe environmental damage. Even while implementing the Mysuru-Kushalnagar Line, enough care must be taken not to damage the environment,” he said.

Public debate

Meanwhile, Colonel (Retd.) C.P. Muthanna, who is spearheading the movement against Railway projects that will destroy the eco-sensitive Kodagu told SOM, “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 added that he was ready for a public debate with MP Pratap Simha on the destruction that such Railway projects will unleash on Kodagu.


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