Land acquisition starts for Bidar-Gulbarga line
Foundation stone laid in 2000
Land acquisition has begun on the new 104-km Bidar-Gulbarga
railway line in Karnataka, symbolising a good beginning for the project that has
been delayed for over seven years. Speaking to Projectmonitor, a senior official
of Infrastructure Development Department, Government of Karnataka, said that the
Railways had agreed to the state government's proposal of sharing equally the
project cost of Rs 386 crore. IDD has already released Rs 20 crore, including Rs
10 crore in mid-January 2008, to be spent on the project in 2007-08. This fund
will be used largely towards land acquisition that will be done by Karnataka
Industrial Areas Development Board, on behalf of the government.
The foundation stone for the Bidar-Gulbarga railway line was laid in July 2000
by then railway minister Bangaru Laxman. However, the project could not take off
due to financial constraints and the resulting delays in land acquisition. The
railway line, besides effecting social uplift, is also expected to reduce travel
time between Bangalore and New Delhi by six hours.
Extending cost-sharing formula: Inspired by the Bidar-Gulbarga railway line, the
Karnataka government has proposed to extend the cost-sharing formula to the
Munirabad-Mehboobnagar gauge conversion project. Discussing the current status,
the IDD official said that the state government had written to the Railways and
was awaiting approval. Railway Budget 2008-09 is likely to convey the sanction.
The total length of the line is 222 km, out of which 190 km is in Karnataka and
the remaining is in Andhra Pradesh. The Karnataka government has agreed to
finance Rs 350 crore, half the project cost, up to the border. The railway line
is expected to improve the socio-economic conditions of the backward regions of
Bellary, Koppal and Raichur in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
[February 4-10, 2008]