In a major boost to the railway infrastructure sector in the country, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approvedÂ nine projects worth Rs. 24,374.86 crore. TheÂ projects are doubling,Â tripling and quadrupling of railway lines in the nine busy and importantÂ sections of Indian Railways. Currently, most of these sections have single or double lines and due to a hugeÂ number of trains – both passenger and goods, one or two tracks are not able to handle the traffic leading to an immense burden on the existing infrastructure and thereforeÂ severe delays.
Tripling and quadrupling of these busy railway sections will :
1. Improve punctuality of the trains,
2. Increase passenger carrying capacity as more trains can be introduced.
3. Increase the number of goods trains and ensure timely delivery of goods, leading to increase in manufacture and help industries. The quickÂ movement of goods trains will ensure quick, efficient and better transport of foodgrains, coal, minerals, manufactured goods…thereby helping power plants, industries and the consumers. This will also generate the much needed revenues for the railways !
The nine railway projects that have been sanctioned by the cabinetÂ are in nine different states. The details of the projects sanctioned are as follows :
- Assam : Construction of 2nd railway line between New Bongaigaon and Kamakhya (176 km), at a cost of Rs. 2586 crore.
- Jharkhand :Â Construction of 3rd line between Kharagpur (Nimpura) and Adityapur (132 km) at a cost of Rs. 1483 crore.
- Chhattisgarh & Maharashtra :Â Construction of 3rd line between Rajnandgaon-Nagpur (Kalumna) in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh and Gondia, Bhandara and Nagpur districts in Maharashtra (228 km) at a cost of Rs. 2193 crore
- Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh : Construction of 3rd line between Mathura and Jhansi (274 km), at a cost of Rs. 4377 crore.
- Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh : Construction of 3rd line between Jhansi and Bina (153 km), at a cost of Rs. 2274 crore.
- Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra :Â Construction of 3rd line between Itarsi and Nagpur (280 km), at a cost of 2883 crore.
- Telangana and Maharashtra :Â Construction of 3rd line between Ballarshah and Kazipet (201 km), at a cost of Rs. 2404 crore.
- Andhra Pradesh : Construction of 3rd line between Vijaywada and Gudur (288 km), at a cost of Rs. 3876 crore.
- Odisha and Chhattisgarh :Â Construction of 4th line between Jharsuguda and Bilaspur (206 km) at a cost of 2298 crore.
The doubling, tripling and quadrupling of these sections will facilitate railway travel by easing out the bottlenecks on these sectors which form a part of the major routes of India such as New Delhi – Bhopal, Howrah – Mumbai , New Delhi – Hyderabad, Â New Delhi – Nagpur , Siliguri – Guwahati .Â Once completed, these projects are sure toÂ change the face of Indian railways and usher a new era.
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(The author is a passionate railway enthusiast whose hobby, passion and love is railways. He keenly follows the developments in the fields of railways all over the world. Currently pursuing his Ph.D. from Germany)