K-RIDE to get technical expert as MD soon: Union Minister Somanna

PTI, Jun 18, 2024, 10:08 AM IST

Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Limited (K-RIDE) will soon have a technical expert as the full-time Managing Director, Union Minister of State for Railways and Jal Shakti V Somanna said on Monday.

Addressing a press conference here after a meeting with Railway officials to discuss various developmental projects in the state, he recalled that when he was the Infrastructure Minister in Karnataka, K-RIDE did not have a Managing Director and that he has spoken to the Chief Secretary to appoint a technically qualified person as MD within 15-20 days.

“We did not have a MD for KRIDE. Now, I have spoken to the Chief Secretary over the phone and I have told him to appoint a technically qualified person as MD. Railway officials have sent a note to the (Karnataka Government) to appoint a technically qualified person as the Managing director within 15-20 days,” he told reporters here.

He recalled that when the BJP was in power in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the suburban railway network.

He also mentioned the nine railway projects which were pending for decades and ensured that these projects will be completed.

Some of these projects will be completed by December 2026 and others will be completed by December 2028, Somanna said.

“All these nine projects will be completed…We will take up the doubling of railway tracks on a war-footing. This is the vision of the Prime Minister and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw,” he said.

“I will ensure that all the projects related to Karnataka are completed without bothering about trivial things like this was conceptualised by some other parties,” he said.

The Minister also said all the underpasses, level crossings, overbridges will be identified and completed.

Somanna assured that as a Jal Shakti Minister, he will ensure that the Jal Jeevan mission is taken forward.

“I am discussing with the Union Cabinet Minister about how to carry it forward,” he said.

Responding to a question about the train collision in West Bengal, the Minister said he got information about the incident at 8.45 am and added that instructions have been given to senior officers to inform about what happened there.

“This incident has brought pain to us. I have given directions to our senior officers to inform us about what happened there. They have gone there (to the spot). We have given them directions to submit their report immediately. I will go to the Rail Bhawan (Delhi) and have a meeting with Railway Board and get details. I have asked the officials to find out the reasons behind the incident which they will provide me,” he added.

In a statement, the South Western Railway said, the Minister conducted a thorough review of the ongoing development projects within the jurisdiction of the South Western Railway. Discussions centered around 14 significant projects, including nine new lines and five doubling projects.

These projects encompass a total of 1,264 km of new lines and 707 km of doubling, with 289 km of new lines and 502 km of doubling lines already successfully commissioned.

The five double-line projects include – Hotgi-Kudgi-Gadag, Yeshwanthpur-Channasandra, Baiyyapanahalli-Hosur, Bangalore-Whitefield and Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Tinaighat-Vasco da Gama.

The nine new line projects are – Tumkur-Rayadurg via Kalyandurg, Tumkur-Chitradurga-Davangere, Ginigera-Raichur, Bagalkot-Kudachi, Gadag-Wadi,Kadur-Chikmagalur, Shimoga-Shikaripura-Ranebennur, Belgaum-Dharwad via Kittur, Hassan-Belur.

He emphasised the significance of collaborations between railway officials and various stakeholders, including the district administration and K-RIDE, to expedite railway development projects. He advised railway officials to accelerate land acquisition for the remaining work and assured that all pending projects would be systematically completed in the coming years.

The Minister also highlighted the government’s plan to eliminate all level crossings to enhance safety and speed up trains. He advised railway officers to review level crossings in the vicinity of Bengaluru and take necessary action, the statement added.

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