SWR seeks poll panel’s nod for new trains

The South Western Railways has approached the Election Commission (EC) seeking permission to flag off new trains and inaugurate a slew of works.

Apart from a weekly express train between Mysuru and Renigunta, the railways plan to regularise Yeshwantpur-Hubballi and Yeshwantpur-Pandharpur weekly express trains, which are currently run on special occasions and extend the Yashwantpur-Solapur line to Hassan.

The list of works included the inauguration of new station building at Yelahanka, escalators at Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna station (Bengaluru City) two lifts at Hosapete and work on new line between Tumakuru and Rayadurga.

“We were making final arrangements for the event and planned it for March 28 when the elections were announced. Most of these works were approved and completed months ago and are aimed at providing convenience to the public. We hope to get a green signal from the poll panel instead of making the people wait for two more months,” a senior official told DH on condition of anonymity.

Another official said that soon after issue of notification for new trains, election schedule was declared and model code of conduct came into force. “Because of this reason, we will start running trains without any formal function. No elected representative will attend the first run of new trains in compliance with the code of conduct,” he added.

“The Bagalkot-Khajjidoni line got approval from commissioner of railway safety about five months ago, but we couldnt start a train on the route. There is a huge demand for the Renigunta train, which will run via Katpadi, and the extension of train to Hassan will reduce the congestion at Yeshwantpur. Thousands of people will be benefited if the election commission approves our request,” the official said.

Mahesh K, a railway activist from Hosapete, said the new lifts at the station have been powered off and aged people were still forced to climb the stairs. Lokesh T P from Karnataka Railway Vedike said peoples convenience was more important than publicity for the politicians. “The works should be inaugurated without involving the leaders. It is good that officials are putting peoples interest before the formalities.”

A programme scheduled for Wednesday had to be cancelled due to model code of conduct.

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