Rail users claim that coastal Karnataka, being under a different railway zone, suffers from lack of development and addition of new trains.

Bring coastal Karnataka region under South Western Railway say usersImage for representation
news Railways Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 18:07

In a renewed effort, rail activists based in coastal Karnataka held a tweetathon on Sunday demanding that Mangaluru and other coastal Karnataka stations be brought under the South Western Railway zone.

Currently the coastal parts of Karnataka are partly under the Palakkad division of Southern Railway and partly under Konkan Railway, while the rest of the state is under South Western Railway.

Using the hashtag #CoastalKarnatakaUnderSWR, the activists tagged Minister of State, Railways Suresh Angadi, Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal, local MPs Nalin Kumar Kateel (who is also the state BJP president) and Shobha Karandlaje among others to act on their pleas.

The announcement of such a merger was made in 2003 but since then has been put on the back-burner. The activists now want the same proposal to be taken forward by the Centre in the next union budget, due to be presented on February 1.

To argue for their cause, the rail users said although there was significant demand both in terms of passengers and freight, there has been no major overhaul of railway infrastructure in the region. They say that due to the lack of train services, there has been a decrease in freight over the last three years.

Similarly, there are long delays in trains connecting the coast with Bengaluru due to the lack of infrastructural development.

One rail user tweeted, “Karwar express reaches Mangalore@5.30 AM frm Bangalore & it reaches Udupi by 8.15 AM. Just to cover 70 KM from Mangalore to Udupi it takes 2 Hr 45 minutes. Our MP is not bothered to take this issue with ministry.”

Another tweet read, “One State One Rail network. Bring Dakshin Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada districts under @SWRRLY which will ease the operations and connect rest of the state with coastal Karnataka..”

Others also opined that bringing the coastal zone under SWR will also lead to train connections between north-western parts of the state.

A few activists highlighted the lack of development of major tourist and cultural towns and cities like Puttur and Mangaluru.