Mangalore (Karnataka): Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday accused the former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) – led government for causing delay in the Bidar-Kalaburagi railway line project, saying that the link, which was approved during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure, could not see light of day as Congress failed to provide adequate land.
“Congress government that came in 2004, did not provide adequate land which caused the delay,” Goyal said at a press conference in Mangalore.
He further added that the project gained momentum only in 2007, when the then chief minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, offered to pitch in 50 percent of the cost from the state government’s funds.
Goyal, stating that the last piece of land was received in February 2017, commended the Railway Ministry for having “completed the work in record time after that”.
Speaking on the railway project, Goyal informed that a major specialty of the 110.40-km line was its 12 new railway stations, 1.7 km long tunnel, and 269 bridges.
Goyal assured that the railway line will not only contribute to the socio-economic development of Karnataka, but also facilitate the functioning of the railways.
Elaborating on it, Goyal said the connectivity of Bidar with such major cities as Bengaluru and Mumbai will improve as the distance between Bidar and Mumbai will shorten by 115 km, while distance between Bidar and Bengaluru will be cut short by 52 km.
In effect, the farmers will then be benefited in selling their produce, Goyal inferred, adding that it will also improve efficiency and scope of cement industry in North Karnataka.
“Under the government of Modi ji, development in rail facilities for the whole of Karnataka have quickened in pace. The investment by rail ministry in the state has increased by five times,” the Railway Minister claimed, adding that the budget provision for rail projects in Karnataka has increased from Rs 783 crore in the year 2014-15 to Rs 3174 crore in the current year 2017-18.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the railway line today in Bidar. (ANI)