Indian Railways has set a rew record for laying a
new railway line project of just over one hundred kilometers. From the time the
project was conceived way back in 1996, the new railway line in northern
Karnataka has taken nearly twenty one years to be dedicated to the Nation. But
for the impending elections to the state assembly, Railways would have taken
some more time to complete the project.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the 110 km
new railway track from Bidar to Kalaburgi , which will reduce distance from
Bengaluru to New Delhi and upcountry destinations by 380km and save 6-8 hours
of travelling time.
The new track, laid over 21 years, was originally estimated to cost Rs
370 crore but escalated nearly five times to Rs 1,542 crore. The railway
project was conceived when H D Deva gowda was the Prime Minister and
implemented by the three governments at the centre indicating how the railway
board treats projects in Southern India. Ironically the then Prime Minister
Gowda had split the Southern Railway, created a separate Railway Zone with
Bengaluru as Headquarters for speedy implementation of railway projects.
The Prime Minister also flagged off the first
train on the new line from Bidar station to Kalaburgi in the presence of
Railway Minister Piyush Goel, Governor Vajubhai R Vala, Chief Minister
Siddaramaiah and Union Ministers from the state Ananth Kumar and Sadananda
The Diesel-Electric Multiple train (DEMU) local
service will cover the 110km between Bidar and Kalaburgi in two hours with
brief halts at 12 stations en route.
Though the foundation stone for the project was
laid in 1996 when Janata Dal-Secular supremo HD Deve Gowda from the state was
the Prime Minister of a coalition government, construction began only in 2000
under the BJP-led NDA governmen A B Vajpayee and the railways took 16 years to
The new track provides direct rail connectivity
from Bengaluru to Bidar, 690km away from the state capital, and enable running
more long-distance passenger and freight trains
from northern to southern parts of Karnataka.