An 87 km railway line between Belagola in Mysuru and Kushalnagar, the largest town in Kodagu, a district until now which did not have any rail connectivity, has been sanctioned by the South Western Railways. The development was revealed by Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha on Twitter on Wednesday 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.”
— Pratap Simha (@mepratap) February 27, 2019
The attached note issued by the 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 1854.62 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 04 mark in Pink Book. Department-wise break-up of the cost is as under:-Civil Engg Z 1723.78 crore Elect (G) Z 11.85 crore Elect(OHE) Z 59.06 crore ST Z 59.93 crore Total Z 1854.62 crore.”
While the announcement by Simha was welcomed by some, it got slammed by many on environmental grounds. TNM had reported how in November 2017, a mega rally was organised to stop the rail link between Mysuru to Kushalnagar and another connecting Mysuru and Thalassery in Kerala cutting through the sensitive forests in the district. The first protest against the railway line was held in Madikeri on June 4, 2017 and the second at Kutta on August 26, 2017.
The 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. However, the project got a push after then Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa promised to bear 50% of the costs of the proposed railway line.
A change.org petition against the construction of the railway track has registered nearly 43,000 signatures at the time of writing. A third protest was held last month on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Mysuru when thousands of citizens gathered at Mysuru’s Dasara Exhibition Grounds to protest against the proposed railway line.
Article source: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/new-mysuru-kodagu-rail-line-sanctioned-despite-opposition-environmentalists-97477