Even though Bangalore earns the top buck for the South-Western Railway, it seems the rest of Karnataka is far behind other states in basic railway connectivity.
While Karnataka has only 16 km of railway lines for every 1,000 sq km, the national average stands at 19 km per 1,000 sq km; the state’s big Southern neighbours literally beat it by several miles, with Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh having 30 km of railway lines per 1,000 sq km.
The rail connectivity in Gujarat is twice the national average with 38 km per sq km.
At least 3,500 km of new lines will have to be laid in the state to bring it to the level of its neighbours. Former Member of Railway Advisory Board S Kamal Kumar said, “Most of the parliamentarians from the state would not raise the issue in the parliament fearing the high command’s wrath and that has caused this disparity.” The state government, seeking to address the disparity in connectivity has come forward to bear 50 percent of the project cost for new railway lines sought by it. Union Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa said that he will do whatever is required to get Karnataka’s railways on par with other states by getting more lines sanctioned.