The completion of the greenfield railway terminal at Naganahalli by 2024, as envisaged by the Railway Board, hinges to a large extent on the State government’s alacrity in land acquisition and allocation to the Railways.
Though the Railway Board has included the Naganahalli terminal as a priority project and even sanctioned ₹19.99 crore for the financial year 2021-22, all eyes are on the State Budget, to be tabled in March, and the funding that could be made available for it by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.
Hence, MP for Mysuru Pratap Simha has impressed upon the district in-charge Minister, S.T. Somashekar, the imperatives of allocating a sizeable amount in the forthcoming Budget. Mr. Simha is also expected to meet the Chief Minister to press for a significant allocation for the railway terminal at Naganahalli.
The cost of the project has been pegged at ₹789.29 crore, but the land has to be provided by the State government. The project requires 380 acres, of which 165 acres is required to kick-start the work and complete the first phase itself. This calls for a greater coordination between the Revenue Department officials and the Railways, and the authorities say that not an inch of land has been acquired though the project was originally mooted in 2007-08 and received the administrative nod in 2018.
It is pertinent to recall that Mr. Yediyurappa himself had stated that the forthcoming budget would be downsized as a lot of resources had to be allocated towards fighting the pandemic. Besides, the State exchequer too has taken a hit owing to the COVID-19 lockdown and industries working at a fraction of their installed capacity for the greater portion of 2020.
Naganahalli as a new terminal has been mooted to decongest the existing city railway station in Mysuru, which is landlocked and has no scope for expansion. The railway authorities also see merit in a greenfield railway terminal as a fallout of the completion of the track doubling work and electrification between Mysuru and Bengaluru. This will facilitate the introduction of new trains, but the Mysuru station is choked, handling nearly 100 trains a day. Also, the saturation of stations in Bengaluru is forcing the railway authorities to extend some of the trains till Mysuru or even Chamarajanagar as there is no scope for berthing and shunting of additional trains in Bengaluru.
All this necessitates the creation of additional capacity and hence, Naganahalli has been mooted as an ideal station to develop a new terminal. But its completion by 2024 depends on land acquisition, which is yet to commence.
The new terminal envisages the construction of six platforms — four in the first phase and two in the second phase — apart from laying four pit lines and eight stabling lines. This will complement the existing infrastructure at the city station, which has six platforms.