JV Firm With Karnataka To Be Set Up In 3 Months: Railway Minister

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Bengaluru: Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday said a joint venture company in partnership with the Karnataka government will be set up in three months to take up railway projects.

“We will start a joint venture company with Karnataka government in which the state will acquire some equity, we will take some equity, and will also leverage the equity by pooling some extra budgetary resources, and these resources will not come into the fiscal responsibility and budget management Act of Karnataka,” Mr Prabhu said.

He said the idea is for the state government to collaborate with the Railways to create fast and accelerated infrastructure for the state.

“I can declare today, within next three months, we will operationalize this company so that the company can start working. Chief Minister has invited me for a meeting on this, we will take the next step forward to ensure the company is operationalized and take up infrastructure projects,” he added.

In February, the Union government had cleared a proposal allowing the Railways to form JV companies with state governments with equity participation to help identify areas that require new railway lines, acquire land for projects and help pool funds as well as jointly monitor these projects.

Mr Prabhu was speaking after renaming Bengaluru city railway station as Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna station.

The station is named after Karnataka’s prominent freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna (1798-1831).

Mr Prabhu also laid the foundation stone for the Yelahanka-Penukonda (120km), Arsikere-Tumakuru (96 km), Hubballi-Chikjajur (190 km) doubling projects, and a road overbridge at Koppal.

The road overbridge at Davangere was also commissioned on Sunday during the event that was attended by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar, among others.