Bangalore: “After automobile logistics hubs, Railways is examining the possibility of providing vacant land earmarked for commercial utilisation for setting up auto ancillary industries,” railway minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.
Addressing a Railway programme here, she said that the first automobile logistics hub is already coming up in Howrah.
Nine more such hubs, including in Bangalore and Mysore, would be established in collaboration with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in various parts of the country.
“We have received proposals from automobile ancillary industries. That also we are examining. When it’s cleared, Karnataka will get its share”, Banerjee said at the function, also attended by railway ministers of state K.H. Muniyappa and E. Ahamed and chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
Banerjee also said that once work on dedicated freight corridor in western and eastern regions of the country is completed, the government would take up the one for the south.
She made a strong pitch for a public-private partnership (PPP) approach in providing rail link to industrial hubs, ports and coal mines, saying it would benefit all the stakeholders—state and central governments and industry.
The minister also announced a new train between Bangalore and Howrah and also extension of Mumbai-Karwar train up to Mangalore.
Yeddyurappa announced an increase in the state’s share to promote railway projects in Karnataka from Rs243 crore annually to 600 crore.
On Banerjee’s suggestion on taking up rail links to industrial hubs and ports on PPP model, the chief minister said that a feasibility study would be conducted and report submitted by next month.
The railway minister flagged off at the Bangalore city railway station the Bangalore-Shimoga intercity express, Yeshwantpur-Mysore express and Yeshwantpur-Solapur Golgumbaz express (tri-weekly), the last two services by remote.
Banerjee inaugurated by remote the renovated Tumkur Railway Station and Dharmapuri Railway Station buildings, and launched solid state interlocking—an arrangement of signal apparatus that prevents conflicting movements through an arrangement of tracks such as junctions and crossings—at the station here.
Muniyappa said that Railways would introduce 69 new trains, including 12 non-stop, point-to-point Duronto trains.
Asked by reporters later if the long-pending issue of rail link between India and Bangladesh would be discussed during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s coming visit to India, Banerjee said: “When she comes, there will be discussions on Bangladesh. What will happen or what will not happen, I can’t say now.”