By P.T. Bopanna
The ‘Daty Express’ proposed by Union minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda to bring the railway network to Kushalanagar, his wife Daty’s hometown in Kodagu (Coorg) has derailed.
It may be recalled that Sadananda Gowda, the ever smiling BJP leader who “accidentally” became the railway minister in 2014, revived the Mysuru-Kushalanagar-Madikeri railway line which was shelved earlier for being economically unviable.
Subsequently, the project was pursued by Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha member Pratap Simha, who sensed a political opportunity to woo the vote banks in the Hunsur-Periyapatna belt. Simha held several rounds of discussion with railway minister Piyush Goyal to push the project.
According to reports, the minister of state for railway Rajen Gohain, told the Lok Sabha a couple of days ago in a written reply: “the survey for Mysuru (Belagola)-Kushalanagar-Madikeri (119.10 km) new line was completed during 2018-19. The total cost of the proposed new line was assessed at Rs. 2,607.53 crore with rate of return of (minus) 5.65 per cent. The survey report has been examined and this proposal could not be taken forward due to un-remunerative nature and no operational and financial justification of the proposed new line.”
This news portal has been fighting against bringing railway line to Kodagu as it would have serious environmental impact.
At least now it is hoped that Sadananda Gowda, the son-in-law of Kodagu, will not push for Daty Express in the wake of serious flooding of Kushalanagar during the last monsoon.