Derailed: How railway projects have gone off-track in Karnataka

Derailed: How railway projects have gone off-track in Karnataka

Submitted by Kumuda on Thu, 2016-03-10 20:28 Bengaluru: It is not just court cases that seem to drag on for eternity in the country. Critical infrstructure projects also make no headway for years due to land acquisition problems.According to a recent CAG report on status of ongoing railway projects in Karnataka, several railway projects in the state, sanctioned more than a decade ago, have made little or no progress at all.The Bengaluru-Hassan via Shravanabelagola new line was sanctioned in 1996-97. But there was a delay of 202 months (16 years) in acquiring land.The Hubli-Ankola new line project was sanctioned in 1997-98 but due to opposition from environmentalists, land acquisition issues stalled the project by 200 months.The Kadur-Chikkamagaluru-Sakaleshpur has also been delayed by 210 months. According to the report, the Bengaluru-Sathyamangala and Hubli-Ankola projects were cancelled due to abnormal delays. According to the CAG findings, the South-Western Railway was forced to spend Rs. 242.92 crores more on acquiring land due to the delays.According to the CAG, the orginal cost of Bengaluru-Hassan Via Shravanabelagola project was Rs. 295.75 crores. The first stretch of 44 kilometers between Hassan and Shravanabelagola was completed in 2006 keeping in mind the Mahamastakabhisheka. But the revised estimate of the project has zoomed to Rs. 1289.92 crores. Similar cost overruns are being reported in all the major new line/doubling projects in Karnataka. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu did not announce any new projects for the state.