Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd founding chairman E Sreedharan and Member of Parliament Eranna Kadadi have opposed the merger of KRCL with Indian Railways.
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Shobha Karandlaje, the Union Minister of State... more...
for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and a BJP MP from Karnataka, has asked Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to merge Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) with Indian Railways (IR). However, KRCL's founding chairman E Sreedharan, also known as "Metroman," and Member of Parliament Eranna Kadadi are opposing the merger, claiming that it would result in the concerned states losing control of KRCL and working against federal interests.
Four states with controlling holdings in the corporation Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Goa will have to consent to the idea, which is fraught with complications. In addition, KRCL cannot be combined with IR until all of its obligations have been paid off or the latter has taken over the company.
MPs are lobbying for the merger
Coastal Karnataka's advocacy organisation and rail users' forum, as well as MPs and parliamentarians from the region, are lobbying for the merger, claiming that the corporation is hesitant to accommodate trains needed for the region, and hence has failed to meet the region's goals. Sudarshan Puttur, the convenor of the Puttur-based Kukke Shree Subrahmanya-Mangalore Rail Commuters Forum, claims that the Konkan Railway is treating passengers unfairly and that other states have taken over its operations. He further claimed that the Southern Railway's Palghat division, which oversees the Mangaluru Central-Thokur route, had failed to meet villagers' desires for more trains to other districts of Karnataka. They believe that if KRCL is acquired by IR, they will be able to demand the establishment of a separate Mangaluru Division.
People in Dakshina Kannada have been irritated by the cancellation of the Bengaluru-Kannur-Karwar overnight express in favour of a direct overnight train between Bengaluru and Karwar. Karandlaje, who represents the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Lok Sabha constituency, said she is just addressing long-standing concerns from her constituents and has no vested interest in the dispute.
Who owns KRCL and how much?
The Ministry of Railways (51 per cent) owns a majority of the KRCL, followed by Maharashtra (22 per cent), Karnataka (15 per cent), Kerala (6 per cent), and Goa (6 per cent). Despite the fact that the railway line does not pass through Kerala, the government was confident that it would help the state's economy and people, thus it became a shareholder.
KRCL has failed Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa. Maharashtra with 22% contribution and Goa with 6% contribution (total 28%) got few trains between Madgaon and Mumbai. No link to Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nanded, Nashik, Solapur or any other towns. No link from MH Konkan areas to Chennai, Hyderabad, Tirupati etc. Karnataka with 15% contribution got just one train from Karwar/ Kundapura/ Udupi to Bangalore. Two trains to Mumbai. That's all. No link from coastal Karnataka to Mysore, Udupi, Ballari, Hubli, Belgaum, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Bidar Raichur. No trains to neighbouring states towns of Tirupati, Chennai, Rameswaram, Hyderabad Kolhapur, Solapur etc. Kerala... more...
with 6% contribution got trains from all over Kerala to Mumbai, Delhi (daily as well as weekly trains). Also weekly/ biweekly to Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Amritsar, and many more places. If you want to understand how quota allocated to canara coast, check seat availability from these locations in Kerala originating trains. One has to book from/ to Kannur or Kozhikode to get a confirmed ticket.
Who has more control in this situation? Kerala? Or Karnataka? Or Maharashtra? Or Goa? Answer is obvious - SR Kerala. Merge MAQ and SR areas (around 40 kms) to KR KAWR division and attach to SWR. If 600 km length is a problem, attach Hassan to Mangalore to Karwar division (Mysore division has more than 900 kms and this 180 kms transfer will not have any impact).
Merge KR Ratnagiri division to CR. Remove Madgaon to Vasco from SWR and attach to Ratnagiri division. Anyway new Kolhapur Chiplun line will make this arrangement more viable.
If dismantling KR is not possible, make it a subsidiary of IR and give control jointly to CR and SWR.
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