I recently happened to read the Mangalore edition of Kannada Prabha (I guess) which said that it is the Hassan - Mangalore Railway Development Corporation / company (HMRDC) which is impeding the introduction of new passenger trains on the Bangalore - Mangalore route. The reason given was that the company seeks to regain the investments made, by allowing only goods trains to pass through the line ; the introduction of passenger train services would hamper the movement of the goods rakes. It has been more than 6 years if I remember correctly since the broad gauge line has been opened for traffic. Has not the company still made its profits by allowing at least 3 pairs of goods trains on a daily basis all these years, to use the line? Is not the company getting any share of revenue earned from the passenger revenue from the 2 passenger trains that use the line? I know that there are other mafias that are functioning as hands-in glove to prevent the movement of the trains, but what I wonder is, don't we have a reason to counter the official reason given by them?
The other funny reason given is the lack of a direct rail link between Bangalore and Hassan for the introduction of new trains. THERE IS NO STRAIGHT RAIL LINK EVEN BETWEEN BANGALORE AND HUBLI ; IT WOULD BE IN PLACE ONLY AFTER THE COMMISSIONING OF THE TUMKUR - CHITRADURGA - DAVANGERE RAILWAY LINE. Are there not trains running between Bangalore and Hubli? What is the problem in running them to Mangalore?
A few things I would like to know are:
Is railways the sole owner of the HMRDC? Does the GoK have a partnership in the company?
What are the revenues earned by the company so far? What was the profit they were looking for and what have they made so far?
What amount of money went into the gauge coversion project?
If GoK has a partnership, can it explore the option of shutting down the company, without undergoing losses? (The state government is already at a loss by sharing the cost of railway projects in the state, with zero returns from the railways)
Why have no initiatives for Roll-on-Roll-Off (RORO) similar to the one in Konkan railway been initiated though there is immense truck traffic between the 2 cities contributing to the damage of the highway every year?
If somebody files an RTI seeking all these queries, or even if they are presented to the Karnataka High Court like what was done to get a night train to Karwar, as a part of the campaign to avail our due rights to railway infrastructure in the state, I believe we would be able to achieve good results.
I look forward for your comments and suggestions regarding this topic. Please share any knowledge that you have about this.