Mysuru: More than twenty years after the project was commissioned by then Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, the 166km-railway line between Bengaluru and Hassan will be flagged off for operations by railway minister Suresh Prabhu on March 26. The line will reduce travel time between the two cities by an hour and 15 minutes, besides decreasing the distance by 45km.
The minister will also inaugurate the subway, and lift facilities at the Mysuru railway station later on the same day. Divisional railway manager, South Western Railways, Bengaluru, Sanjiv Agarwal confirmed that Prabhu would flag off the Yeshwanthpur-Hassan intercity express at 11am on Sunday. Work on the Hassan-Bengaluru line was completed in January. Among the more prominent features of the line is that it passes through the Jain pilgrimage centre, Shravanabelagola. Deve Gowda, chief minister Siddaramaiah and other ministers of his cabinet are likely to be in attendance at the inauguration ceremony.
The line received clearance from AK Manoharan, commissioner of railway safety, southern circle, a few weeks ago. After carrying out trials, and an inspection, authorisation to operate trains at a maximum speed of 80kmph was issued. Currently, trains from Bengaluru to Hassan travel via Tumakuru — a distance of 211km -— a journey that takes nearly four hours to complete. While the cost of the project was Rs 295 crore, when it was first announced in 1996, rise in the price of land, and other delays, resulted in the line being completed at a cost of Rs 1,298.92 crore. The new line will pass through, among other stations, Nelamangala, Kunigal, Yediyur and Shravanabelagola. The new track is also expected to reduce the travel time between Bengaluru and Mangaluru.
Subway and lift at Mysuru station
The subway and lift facilities at the Mysuru station will be unveiled by Suresh Prabu via webcast from Bengaluru on Sunday. In a bid to make the subway more visually appealing, divisional railway manager, Mysuru, Atul Gupta roped in artists from the Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts to embellish the walls and pillars with paintings of local tourist spots. The length of the subway is 64.442m, and its unique feature is that there are no steps. The increasing traffic at the Mysuru station had resulted in the narrow overbridge connecting the platforms getting too crowded.
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