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Rs. 430.67 crore allocated to South Western Railway

By Our Special Correspondent

HUBLI, JULY 18. South Western Railway (SWR) has been allocated Rs. 430.67 crore for 2004-05 for various works.

According to sources, it has been planned to spend Rs. 65.11 crore on new lines, Rs. 61 crore on gauge conversion, Rs. 48.30 crore on doubling tracks, Rs. 26.28 crore on safety works, Rs. 80 crore on track renewals, and Rs. 28. 05 crore on signalling and telecommunication works.

Of the funds earmarked for new lines, Rs. 29 crore will be spent on the 165-km Hassan-Bangalore via Shravanabelagola line.

It is a project with a total outlay of Rs. 412.91 crore. The zone anticipated an expenditure of Rs. 120.72 crore till the end of 2003-04. A sum of Rs. 263.19 crore is needed for the completion of work on the line.

A sum of Rs. 18.02 crore has been allocated to the 167-km Hubli-Ankola line.

The project has been estimated at Rs. 997.58 crore with the anticipated expenditure till the end of 2003-04 put at Rs. 49.03 crore.

A sum of Rs. 15 crore has been allocated to the 93-km Kadur-Chikmagalur-Sakleshpur line.

The project has been estimated at Rs. 157 crore of which, Rs. 32.86 crore has been put as expenditure anticipated by the end of 2003-04.

Only Rs. 3 crore has been allocated to the Rs. 121 crore Kottur-Harihar project.

The anticipated expenditure till this March has been put at Rs. 11.32 crore.

The surprising aspect is that in the total outlay, Rs. 82.69 crore has been shown as a deposit from the State Government.

The Railway Budget does not mention about funds received in this connection from the Government, nor has the Government clarified on it.

This was not among the four projects selected for joint ventures under the K-RIDE.

A sum of Rs. 44.29 crore has been allocated for the Mysore-Chamarajanagar (Phase I) gauge conversion work with extension up to Mettupalyam.

The present allocation appears to be a major move by the Railways to expedite work on the project, which is estimated to cost Rs. 175 crore of which, Rs. 7.31 crore is stated to have been spent by the end of March this year.

The allocation for the most important project in north Karnataka - gauge conversion up to 200 km of the Bijapur-Bagalkot-Gadag line of the 300 km Solapur-(Hotgi) Gadag section - is meagre. It is a project estimated at Rs. 300 crore of which, Rs. 196 crore has been spent.

Of the rest of the amount, Rs. 74.89 crore has to come as a deposit from the State Government.

What has been a surprising factor is the Railways has been executing the work without waiting for the State Government's contribution all along.

Of the five projects of South Western Railway, the focus is on the 64-km Yeshwantpur-Tumkur Project.

The track doubling work is estimated to cost Rs. 91.82 crore of which, an expenditure of Rs. 18.62 crores had been incurred.

The Railways plans to spend Rs. 38.19 crore during this year. A sum of Rs. 10 crore has been allocated for doubling tracks of the Whitefield-Bangarpet-Kuppam project, the Bangalore City-Kengeri project, the Kengeri-Ramanagaram project, and the Bangalore-Whitefield-Bangalore-Krishnarajapuram project, all of which are estimated to cost over Rs. 300 crore.

The allocation made for the South Western Railway zonal headquarters is Rs. 9.10 crore. It is a project estimated to cost Rs. 135 crore.

The allocation for the Institute for Extraction, Rescue and Medical Relief is Rs. 5 lakh, while the project is estimated to cost Rs. 7 crore.

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