Mangaluru: An RTI response to a query has revealed that the Railway Ministry had given its consent to a proposal seeking merger of Mangaluru Railway Region, now under Konkan Railway, with South Western Railway (SWR) in the year 2003 itself. Nitish Kumar, who was the then Railway Minister in the Vajpayee government, had conceded to the demands put forth by various organisations and announced that Mangaluru region, including Thokur, would be brought under South Western Railway. In January 2004, the Railway Ministry approved the proposal and communicated it to South Western Railway. The decision was to be given effect to after completion of the gauge conversion work between Hassan and Mangaluru and a gazette notification was issued. However the notification was not issued despite completion of the gauge conversion work, it is learnt. The facts became known after a person named Gautam Shetty, filed an RTI application with the South Western Railway. He got copies of the Railway Board’s approval to the proposal as also a copy of the reminder letter written by chief executive officer of southwest railway, dated July 2, 2014 to the Ministry seeking a gazette notification. At that time Minister Sadananda Gowda was the Minister for Railways. Organisations have now decided to mount pressure on the Union government through the people’s representatives to give effect to the approval.
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