Kodagu district yet to be connected

Even as the Metro coaches roll out in Bangalore, at the other end of the spectrum is Kodagu, the only district without rail connectivity. It also appears that fixing this problem is not a top priority for the state government.

This is evident from the fact that the memorandum submitted by the Karnataka government prioritizing its projects to the railway ministry does not include a demand to conduct a route survey to provide Kodagu with rail connectivity. Oddly enough, Manifestos of the Congress and BJP during the assembly and parliamentary elections have harped on rail connectivity for this district.

When the decision was taken to conduct a survey for the Mysore- Kushalnagar -Madikeri route a few years ago, it met with a mixed response. While some groups welcomed the decision, some environmentalists opposed it, claiming that laying the tracks would destroy the forest and coffee estates. Things returned to normal after authorities decided to extend the railway tracks only till the plains of Kushalnagar.

Interestingly, Cheppudira M Poonacha from Kodagu was a railway minister during 1967-69 and presented three budgets under the leadership of Indira Gandhi.

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