RAILWAYS

Crucial railway projects in Karnataka set to face financial hurdles in post-COVID scenario

Crucial single line railway projects across Karnataka are set to take a major beating financially due to the huge loss the Railways is suffering from the stoppage of passenger services across the country. Funds from the state too, which supports 50% of the cost in many projects, are not expected to flow in, thereby delaying their completion.

These projects have been sanctioned by the Railway Board but funding is released only in instalments.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, a senior railway official said that doubling projects across the state do not face a problem as they have adequate funds already released for them but the ongoing single line projects (known technically as New Line projects) are the ones that are expected to have a major setback.

“Many ongoing projects which are in various stages of completion and have only a segment of them opened up cannot proceed further without the infusion of funds,” he said.

Some important New Line projects expected to come to a standstill as a result are the Gadag-Wadi project (257 km); Kolar-Mulbagal-Madaghatta (50 km); Ginigere-Raichur (165 km), Tumukuru-Chitradurga-Davangere (191 km), Rayadurga-Tumukuru (207 km) NL via Kalyandurga, Gadur-Chikmagalur-Sakleshpur (66 km), Bagalkot-Kudachi project (142 km) and Shivamogga-Shikaripur-Ranipur (89 km).

Much of the railway funding for projects is supported through income generated from the millions of passengers who travel and that has come to an unprecedented standstill.

As fare as Karnataka is concerned, the state provides land free of cost for all the projects, the official said. “With the terrible beating on the revenue front, it remains to be seen how much funding it can spare for infrastructure projects,” the railway official said.

Asked about its stand, a senior state official hoped the government decides to go ahead with the infrastructure projects it has committed to.

Source
New Indian Express
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