In a reply given to Kalaburagi MP Umesh Jadhav in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, the railway ministry has stated that the project has been stalled as per the recommendation of a committee of senior railway officers.
Meanwhile, Umesh Balonda, executive director, efficiency and research, railway ministry has replied to former MP Basavaraj Patil Sedam saying that the detailed project report (DPR) containing the estimates for setting up of the division at Kalaburagi was under examination in the ministry.
“Since the setting up of new divisions affect railway operation and efficiency, and requires additional resources, a committee of senior railway officers was constituted to review afresh the Kalaburagi division from various angles. After examining all the relevant issues from operational, financial, administrative and other aspects, the committee inter-alia concluded that creation of new divisions, may be dropped for present,” the letter read.
This reply has triggered a strong criticism in Kalyana Karnataka region. Chairman of KK Janapara Sangharsh Samithi Laxman Dasti expressed anger over missing railway division headquarter status to Kalaburagi.
“This is gross injustice to the region. It has happened due to the bias of Central Railway officials towards the region. Though Kalaburagi has better income, CR officials are diverting all revenues to Solapur division. Solapur-Hassan train is the best example for this. It was launched to run between Kalaburagi and Hassan, then it was forced to run from Solapur. As they have kept only few seats for Kalaburagi passengers, we are booking tickets from Solapur, but boarding from Kalaburagi. Now we will not sit quiet. We will intensify the stir,” he asserted.
Expressing regret over the decision, former MP Sedam, who is now chairman of Kalyan Karnataka Human Resource, Agriculture and Cultural Society of the state government, said the government has kept it aside. “Kharge himself had said that there is a need of 800-900 kms rail line to form a division and he had done it after thorough deliberations. Once the budget was announced, the following government should have followed it up,” he said.
KK Grahakara Vedike president Sunill Kulkarni noted that railway ministry has responded on March 10, just a week ago, on the creation of a new railway division at Rayagada saying that it’s included in 2020-21 Railway Budget at an estimated cost of Rs 170 crore, including new railway zone in Visakhapatnam.
“However, the Kalaburagi railway division approved in 2014 is dropped,” he stressed.