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Land survey suggested for track doubling work

Special Correspondent

4.5 acres of land needed for laying the parallel shunting track

About 200 houses, a school, three samudaya bhavans and a temple will be demolished

Residents appealed to Vijayshankar that Railways should not force them to relocate

— Photo: M.A. Sriram

Review: C.H. Vijayshankar, MP and Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Railways, along with railway personnel inspecting the land required for track doubling work on Mysore-Bangalore line, in Mysore on Thursday.

Mysore: The Mysore-Bangalore track doubling work from Mysore has hit a roadblock necessitating a fresh survey to ascertain the quantum of land required by the Railways for the new track and the possibility of a minor realignment.

The new hitch pertains to relocation of nearly 180 to 200 families who reside along the existing track on the Mysore-Bangalore section just opposite the Saw Mill in the Medar Block (Bamboo Bazaar) and very close to the railway station.

The railway authorities have claimed around 4.5 acres of land for laying the parallel shunting track to receive the incoming trains. This will result in shifting of residential houses, three samudaya bhavans, a temple and a school which has around 800 students. In view of the complications arising out of the proposed move, C.H. Vijayshankar, MP and a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Railways, has suggested that a new land survey be conducted within 15 days.

The bottleneck came to light when Mr. Vijayshankar inspected the site along with Chief Engineer (Construction), R.P. Vyas and Deputy Chief Engineer Raman on Thursday. The residents of the area were vocal about the issue of relocation haunting them and complained to the MP that the railways had adequate land on the adjoining side where there was a gap of nearly 30 feet between the Hassan-Arsikere track and the Mysore-Bangalore track.

However, Deputy Chief Engineer Raman pointed out that the curvature of the track did not provide for laying another line. But a few residents suggested that the new track for shunting of rakes could be aligned near the old quarters and a few abandoned property which could be demolished to create space for laying of new tracks.

Mr. Vijayshankar instructed the railway authorities, the Mysore City Corporation and the Slum Development Board to conduct a fresh survey so as to save the existing dwellings and school. He said realignment of the track will also be considered if it was found to be technically feasible and priority will be accorded to obviate the need for any relocation or demolition of structures.

Slum Board officials and the local residents including the area Corporator T. Devaraj said there was no land in the vicinity to construct another school and hence it could not demolished. The residents have been disturbed three times since 1991 and this would be the fourth time they were being targetted, said Somashekar, a resident of the area.

A similar bottleneck has been identified near the K.R. Mill colony where about 15 houses have to be relocated.

Meanwhile, other works including Railway Yard Remodeling at the Mysore Railway Station is expected to be ready by the end of March or April. The entire work is being completed at a cost Rs. 26 crore and includes synchronising tracks and signalling system, laying switch points and completion of additional two platforms that can receive trains of 24 coach rake and thus augment the handling capacity of the Mysore Railway Station.

The completion of switch points will facilitate reception of trains from Bangalore at platform numbers five and six. At present, trains from Bangalore arrive on platforms one, two and three only due to lack of switch points and hence only limited number of trains can be operated. The Rs. 230-crore project is being taken up on a cost-sharing basis with the State Government pitching in with two-thirds of the cost. Mr. Vijayshankar said he will seek Rs. 30 crore in the ensuing State Budget for the early completion of works.

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