Bangalore-Hassan Railway line cuts Kunigal Stud Farm ?

Business magnate Vijay Mallya's Kunigal stud farm in
Tumkur district may be saved if the railway authorities are
amenable to the suggestions of Chief Minister H D
Kumaraswamy regarding the Bangalore-Hassan line.

As things stand, the Bangalore-Hassan railway line cuts
through the farm, jeopardising its activities and could even
lead to its closure. Kumaraswamy has sent a letter to
railways minister Lalu Prasad asking him to change the
route a bit.

"As an alternative, a small deviation can be made in the
alignment so as to protect this important heritage site by
realigning the line along the periphery of the stud farm.
This realignment would reportedly involve an increase in
the length of the railway line by a mere 600 metres," the
letter said.

The proposed Bangalore-Hassan line is a long-pending
demand and the South Western Railway, which is
implementing the project, has marked the ground for laying
the line that will cut across the historical stud farm. It's
situated close to Kunigal town and covers an area of 350
acres, divided into 25 paddocks of different sizes.

However, railway authorities say they have not received
any direction from the ministry for route diversion. They
also maintain that if the line is diverted, certain other public
constructions like place of worship and displacement of
water resources department offices would be affected.

About the farm:

The farm can be traced back to Tipu Sultan who bred
horses here for his cavalry to fight the British. It is the
oldest stud farm in India and the stock bred is famous not
only in the country but also overseas.

In 1948, the farm was transferred to the state government
for management from the erstwhile Mysore state, which
had continued to support the horse-breeding centre post
Tipu Sultan. In 1992, the state government leased the farm
for 30 years to United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders
(URBB), Mallya's race horse division.

Today, it's among the top five farms of its kind in India,
consistently producing high-quality horses. URBB director
Zeyn Mirza had earlier maintained that the horses are
highly sensitive animals and no breeding can be
successful amid sound and air pollution. "There'll be a lot
of noise during the construction of the railway line and
thereafter from trains passing by," he had said.

                                                                                     TNN, JUNE 08, 2007
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