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Konkan Residents Echo Coastal Karnataka’s Call: Urge Merger of Konkan Railway with Indian Railways

MAHARASHTRA (Metro Rail & Steel): Residents of Maharashtra’s Konkan region have echoed the demand made by Coastal Karnataka, urging the merger of the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd., (KRCL) with the Indian Railways. Highlighting concerns over the lengthy timeline required for KRCL to meet Indian Railways’ infrastructure standards due to financial constraints, the Konkan Vikas Samiti based in Mumbai has stressed the urgency for this integration. 

Representing the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg regions, the Samiti’s founding chairman, Jaywant Shankar Darekar, emphasized how KRCL’s limited finances have hindered crucial railway network expansions. Projects, including the doubling of tracks initiated six years ago and platform enhancements at intermediate stations, have experienced sluggish progress, causing inconvenience to passengers. 

In a letter addressed to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on November 30, the Samiti highlighted KRCL’s inadequacies and advocated for its merger with the Indian Railways. Darekar proposed integrating the Roha-Madgaon section with the Central Railway’s Mumbai Division and the Madgaon-Mangaluru section with the South Western Railway’s Mysuru Division. This alignment aims to bridge transportation gaps, facilitate seamless travel between Mumbai and the Konkan region, expedite infrastructure projects, establish a dedicated freight corridor along the West Coast, and develop terminal facilities at key locations like Sawantwadi, Ratnagiri, and Karwar. 

Darekar underscored that such integration could transform these projects into a reality within a decade, a stark contrast to the anticipated 40-50 years under KRCL’s jurisdiction. Additionally, he pointed out KRCL’s unique surcharges of 40% for passengers and 50% for freight traffic, burdening the public. Merging with Indian Railways, Darekar argued, could alleviate these financial strains and eliminate the constant excuse of fund constraints hindering development work. 

Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg MP Vinayak Raut supported the Samiti’s stance, writing to Minister Vaishnaw on December 6. Raut emphasized that KRCL’s failure to augment infrastructure was severely impacting the Konkan region’s growth in Maharashtra. He echoed the call for the merger with Indian Railways, envisioning comprehensive development for the entire region. 

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