Accordingly the controversial rail infrastructure project connecting Hubballi in north Karnataka and the port of Ankola through the eco-sensitive Western Ghats has come to life again, under curious circumstances. Meanwhile the project, originally proposed two decades ago, was put on the backburner after getting a thumb down from the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
Furthermore it has made to the list of agendas of the Karnataka State Wildlife Board meeting on January 9, which has alarmed environmental activists. Reportedly the meeting, as per protocol, will be chaired by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and it is being speculated that the government is keen on the project, even though the Railways seems reluctant to pursue it.
Moreover TNM has learnt Forest Minister Satish Jarkiholi has been briefed by top forest officials, who highlighted the environmental damage the project will cause to the local habitat. Accordingly Manjunath J, founder of the Wilderness Club told TNM, “The Railway ministry backed off from the project only last week, where more than two lakh trees are to be felled and if the State Wildlife Board gives the go-ahead, we will fight it out again in the Supreme Court. Global warming is at its peak and natural disasters having become as common as the flu.”
Indian Railways linked its locomotives via ISRO satellites According to sources the Indian Railways has linked its locomotives via ISRO satellites, making it easy to track trains and automatically feed the control charts about the trains arrival and departure. The officials said "A new beginning has been made in the new year: the train movement information is acquired and fed to the control charts using ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) satellite based real time train information system (RTIS) automatically”.
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