Bengaluru, March 26, 2017: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda flagged off the Yeshwantpur-Hassan Superfast Intercity Express and inaugurated a host of services at various stations on Sunday.

Speaking at the programme, Deve Gowda expressed satisfaction at the commissioning of the track between Bengaluru and Hassan via Kunigal which he sanctioned 20 years ago. “I am in great pain today at such a long delay of this project during which 14 railway ministers have come and gone. I met (Prime Minister) Narendra Modiji in 2014 and urged him to complete the project when I am alive,” he said.

Suresh Prabhu said he had been focusing on expediting the pending projects and giving “special attention” to doubling and tripling of tracks. “At present, 17% of India’s railway network handles 60% of the entire traffic. Without doubling the tracks, existing infrastructure will be saturated soon,” he said.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said severe drought had forced the state to get fodder from neighbouring states which involves spending huge amounts on transportation. “I request the rail minister to waive the freight charges on transporting fodder,” he said.

He said Shravanabelagola, as a religious tourism hub, needs the attention of Railways. It should introduce special trains from all directions for the Mahamastakabhisheka event to be held in February next, the chief minister said. – News & Image Courtesy: Deccan Herald