BJP MP from Dharwad Prahlad Joshi has set June 15 as deadline for the railway authorities to extend the Bangalore-Hubli Inter City train up to Dharwad failing which he has threatened to launch an agitation on June 18.
Speaking to reporters at the Dharwad Media Club Joshi said all the trains passing through Dharwad railway station would be stopped at Dharwad on June 15 if the railway authorities did not 'keep up their words'.
He said the South Western Railway general manager had sought three acres of additional land near Dharwad railway station to facilitiate extension of Inter City train upto Dharwad.
"The GM had told me to give a letter stating that the state government had agreed in principle to provide the land and had promised to start the train service immediately. The state government has in record time acquired the required land and handed it over the railways. Now they are saying that we should wait till the new platforms are ready. They have no justification in seeking more time. We will not wait any further" he asserted.
The state government evacuated over 200 families to acquire the land and they were provided alternative sites by the Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development Authorities. The citizens of Dharwad have been demanding extension of Hubli-Bangalore-Hubli Intercity train up to Dharwad since long as they find it difficult to catch the train from Hubli early in the morning.
Joshi said the railway station in Dharwad is being expanded and modernised at a cost of Rs 90 crore after he got the funds sanctioned in the 2008 railway budget. He said the station will have entrance, ticketing counter, reservation counter and other facilities on either side as is being done at Yashwantpur station.
On the proposed Hubli-Ankola rail line, Joshi said the state government needed to divert 720 hectares of forest land for the project.
"Earlier the state government was not willing to divert the land but the BJP government has agreed to do so. The central government should file an affidavit before the high power committee appointed by the Supreme Court that is has no objection. The Centre is sleeping over the issue and the clearance from the Forest and Environment department is pending" Joshi explained.
Reacting to union minister of state for forest Jairam Ramesh's remark that there were hurdles in clearing the Kalasa Banduri project, Joshi said it needed the will power on the part of the Centre which has kept the clearance in abeyance.
The Supreme Court has asked the central government whether the states needed Centre's permission to take up any development work on their land and at their cost. The Central government is needed to file a reply in the form of an affidavit which it is not doing. Karnataka has taken up the work to cater to the drinking water problem on its territory and at its own cost" Joshi explained.
Joshi regretted that the President's speech at the joint session of parliament was disappointing as it did not make a mention about setting up IIT in Dharwad as being demanded. He had moved an amendment to the thanks giving motion.
Expressing concern over failure of health and family welfare department in Dharwad district to contain chikungunya and dengue, Joshi said he would speak to the higher ups in the department to take suitable action against erring officials.
Parrying questions on the political scenario in the state, Joshi said "the BJP and the government in the state are intact."