The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved nine projects worth R24,374 crore for railway capacity expansion. The nine projects, in as many states, include laying of seven third lines, one quadrupling line and one doubling project spanning over a total length of 1,937.38 km.
The ambitious expansion plan would benefit states like Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and one project of doubling in the north east frontier region. Since July 2015, 53 projects covering a total length of 5,019 km at the cost of R48,555 crore have been approved.
The nine projects include the 176-km-long construction of doubling between New Bongaigaon and Kamakhya, 132-km-long third line between Kharagpur (Nimpura) and Adityapur (Jharkhand) and 228.3-km-long construction of the third line between Rajnandgaon and Nagpur in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.
Construction of 273.80-km-long third line between Mathura and Jhansi, 152.57-km third line between Jhansi and Bina, 280-km third line between Itarsi and Nagpur, 201.04-km third line between Ballarshah and Kazipet will be taken up. Besides this CCEA also approved tripling between Vijayawada and Gudur and construction of fourth line between Jharsuguda and Bilaspur.
“Besides facilitating the travel by easing the traffic bottlenecks, the approved lines would help the upcoming industries in the region by providing for additional transport capacity to meet their requirements. The move is aimed at creating a capacity to carry 1.5 billion tonne of goods by 2020,” said a railway official. Most of the tripling and quadrupling projects have been approved keeping in mind the congestion prevalent on the north – south and east – west corridors on the transporters network which resulted in heavy detention of trains.
Third line/fourth line projects approved are on North-South and East-West corridors on Golden Quadrangle which is fully saturated.
These lines play an important role in transportation of freight and passenger traffic from Eastern and Southern regions to Northern and Western regions and vice versa.