Train eludes Kodagu district time and again

The proposal of the Central Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the previous railway budget of conducting route survey to provide Kodagu with railway connectivity has remained only as a proposal yet. It has been nearly a year since the railway budget was proposed. As criticised by the Opposition parties, the delay in survey work shows the railway minister’s interest being limited to her home State West Bengal, thus ignoring other states.

Dating back to the tenure of Karnataka based Railway Minister C K Jaffer Shariff, the State was allotted with satisfactory fund for laying new railway tracks. Later, nothing great happened in favour of the State during the tenure of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav. The survey work in Kodagu could be completed if the Railway Minister for the State H Muniyappa from Kolar makes a move in this regard. All it requires is sheer willingness.

When the decision was taken to conduct survey work for Mysore-Kushalnagar-Madikeri railway route, there were pro and con voices that were raised. If a group welcomed the railway’s decision, a set of environmentalists opposed it claiming that laying the railway tracks would destroy the forest and coffee estates in the district. However, the opposition was calmed down with MP H Vishwanath informing that railway connectivity would be limited to Kushalnagar. Almost forgotten railway track construction news, has now come to the forefront, with H Vishwanath announcing that Minister Mamata Banerjee would discuss about the matter at the regional-level railway officers meeting to be held at Mysore.

Kodagu, despite being recognised as the tourism district has not developed up to the expectations. In fact, the district lacks railway connectivity which is a major setback for the district to be developed as a preferred tourist destination.

There is no obstacle on the way of constructing railway track till Kushalnagar. The Central government does not have to plead the Environment and Forest Department for the construction of the railway track as the envisaged route will pass through the plain land. The introduction of railway in Kodagu district would be convenient for the tourists as well as the coffee planters. Moreover, the public can travel to Mysore, Bangalore and other places at minimal cost.

Though coffee is exported from Kodagu to abroad in bulk quantity, the transportation process is complex as the coffee has to be either sent to Kochi or Bangalore to be transported to abroad.

Connecting Kodagu with railway track would solve this problem to a large extent.
Thus, Kodagu citizens are hoping the Central Railway Minister’s nod for starting the survey work, in the regional meeting to be held in Mysore.

If the public put pressure on the MP and the Central Minister in this regard, there would not be much delay in ‘railway’ dream becoming a reality in Kodagu.

-DHNS

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