All guage conversions to be completed in 11th plan: Velu

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Mysore, June 9 (UNI) Minister of State for Railways R Velu today said all metre and narrow gauge lines in the country would be converted into broad gauge during the 11th five-year plan.

About 12,000 km of metre and narrow gauge lines were yet to be converted, he said.

Flagging off the inaugural train in the Mysore-Nanjangud broad gauge line at the city railway station, he said Railways would spend Rs 570 crore in Karnataka during the current financial year on various development works, including gauge conversion.

Earlier, speaking after inaugurating the modernised Bangarpet railway station in Kolar district, he said the Railways had targeted to achieve a profit of Rs 25,000 crore during the current fiscal.

He said priority would be given to taking up doubling railway track between Ramanagaram and Mysore.

Referring to the new line between Chamarajanagara-Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu, the Minister said a case was pending before the Supreme Court as the proposed line would run through national parks and an elephant corridor.

Mr Velu said as many as 24 railway stations in the country, including Bangalore station, have been taken up for modernisation on a par with international standards. The Railways had also taken up upgradation of various railway stations, including Mysore at a cost of Rs 26 crore. However, the century-old main building of the station, which was a heritage site, had been retained.

Referring to the contentious issue of alleged denial of opportunities to Kannada speaking people in South Western Railways, he said priority would be given to locals and the process of selection of Group D employees, which had been stopped recently due to protests, would begin soon.

SWR General Manager Praveen Kumar said Nanjangud-Chamarajanagara train service would begin by August 15 as gauge conversion work was almost completed.

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