Still in Waiting List …

It has been almost 14 years since Mangalore-Bangalore passenger train has been stopped because of gauge conversion. The only other alternative for majority of the people from coastal region is the bus service to reach Bangalore. But the bus service from KSRTC as well as private operators is becoming expensive. To add to these woes is the continuous deterioration of the Shiradi Ghat road which links coastal region with the interior Karnataka. The present condition of road is like as if it is hit by clusters of meteorite.

For the bus goers it is routine affair to get delayed by several hours to reach Bangalore because of some mishap in this ghat section. Recently most of the passengers had to spend 24 hours in travel to reach Bangalore from Mangalore which normally takes about 8 hours. Most of them had come for Karnataka CET counseling. Some missed their counseling schedule. But thankfully next day CET cell allowed the students to select seats who had missed their counseling the day before.

The broad gauge conversion work has been completed and still there is no sign of restarting passenger train service on this route, even though it has been announced ‘n’ number of times in last 2-3 Railway Budgets. The leaders who had once staged their voice for restarting the train service seem to have gone mum. This leads us to conclusion there is something fishy here. Seems there is some lobby working in background to avoid restarting of this railway route for passenger trains. It is even baffling to see that Mangalore which already has an international airport fails to get its important railway link. There was a time when people from coastal region used to go to Mumbai in search of job. But now situation has changed and more influx is towards Bangalore. This makes the railway line more important than ever before.

Mangalore-Bangalore train route is a traveler’s delight. One can enjoy the beauty of interior Karnataka, Western Ghats and Coastal Region at one stretch. There is no doubt that this route will boost Karnataka’s low profile tourism sector to new heights.

The government talks so much about developing and creating employment opportunities in Tier-2 cities reduce burden on Bangalore. For all of this to happen a Tier-2 city must be well connected with Bangalore. Therefore I request concerned authorities to execute restarting of passenger train service between Bangalore and Mangalore as soon as possible. This will definitely reduce load on deteriorating Shiradi Ghat road. Otherwise, if current condition continues a day may come when travelers between Bangalore and Mangalore end up trekking in Shiradi Ghats because of absolutely nonmotorable roads.

PS: Thanks to Raveesh for allowing me to use contents from his blog Ee Prapancha.

10 Comments so far

  1. Prasad (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

    Recently, I read in VK that railway authorities are against starting this route because this is not that profitable

  2. blr bytes (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

    It’s also in the bus operators interests to keep it in limbo. Witness the lack of bus operations between Bangalore and Kerala…

  3. namma nadu (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

    There are about 30 operators having over 300+ buses operating on this route excluding KSRTC every night. The stakes are too high for them to lose ( Roughly 40 lacs every day – imagine 150 crores per annum – add equivalent amount as luggage – we are talking of a 300 crore pie). Hence no train can run on this route. Trust this clarifies all doubts.

  4. blr bytes (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

    Didn’t we have have a transport minister who also owned a bus company?

  5. Prasad (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 4:07 pm

    The main reason for delay in work is also because of heavy lobbying by bus operators. Infact, I have heard that konkan railway time-schedule was also set up at the behest of bus operators b/w Mangalore and Mumbai

  6. Kishor (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

    As rightly said above, it is the strong bus lobby which is ‘derailing’ the B’lore-M’lore train. They did the same for the Konkan route, but due to immense public pressure, they had to give up. It is to be seen how long they can ‘block’ the train.

    BLRBYTES: PGR Sindhia had a major stake in the “Bluelines” fleet, which is now non-existent.

  7. manoj (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 11:36 pm

    Arguments about the bus lobby stopping the resumption of train service may be true.. But I did a simple calculation.. namma nadu has mentioned that there are 300+ buses operating every night excluding KSRTC. If you include around 50 KSRTC buses as well.. it will be around 350 per day. Keeping 42 passengers per bus around 15000 people are travelling to Bangalore and vice versa every night. Now the maximum trains that railways will have every night is 2.. Keeping 21 compartments in each train you have 42 compartments. One compartment takes around 72 passengers, maximum people who will be travelling by train will be around 3000. So there will be still 12000 people left who have no option but to travel by bus. So I think reason for not resuming the service can be something else as well. Well this is just a calculation that I have made.. It could be wrong.. But what’s sure is Railways will not have more than 2 services in the night. Give a thought!!!!!!

  8. Amit (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 10:20 am

    If bus operators have so much influence, why do they not lobby for a better road? The current road sucks. Jsut ask the govt to make a road as nice as the Blore Mysore highway

  9. blr bytes (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

    Because more time on road = more money charged

  10. Amit (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

    No Blr bytes, if the journey is shorter, the same vhicle may be able to make more trips?

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