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Cabinet approves doubling of two rail lines

Project completion deadlines set for 2021-22

Rail approaches Barabanki station.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved two rail projects on 12 September 2017, increasing traffic capacities on two main routes.

The first project approved is to doubling of 161 km long Barabanki-Akbarpur line for speedy, reliable and safe rail service in Uttar Pradesh.

The Rs.1,310.23 crore project is likely to be completed by 2021-22.

The project will cover the districts of Barabanki and Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh and will benefit the entire route from Lucknow to Varanasi via Faizabad.

At present delay of trains in Barabanki to Varanasi is high and Express trains are taking up to 7-15 hours for covering a distance of just 323 km.

Present capacity utilization from Barabanki to Faizabad is 146.5% and from Faizabad to Akbarpur it is 152.6%.

The project will allow more time for block maintenance and provide additional capacity for future increase in traffic.

Doubling will not only decongest the entire route from Lucknow to Varanasi but also lead to economic prosperity and overall development of the region.

Further, by easing the connectivity to Varanasi, often referred to as the Spiritual Capital of India and the Holy city of Ayodhya, will give a boost to pilgrimage, tourism and their local economy.

It will also improve movement of coal to Tanda Power Plant near Akbarpur thereby ensuring reliable coal supplies and lead to 24×7 Affordable Power for All.

In addition, this project will generate direct employment during construction for about 38.64 lakh man-days.

The cabinet has also given approval for the 247.5 km Daund-Manmad doubling project.

The project’s estimated cost will be Rs.2,081.27 crore and completion cost of Rs. 2,330.51 crore with 5% escalation per annum. The project is likely to be completed in next five years by 2021-22.

Doubling of this section would not only speed up the operation of goods and coaching trains, but also provide additional capacity for meeting future increase in traffic allowing for faster and reliable service and minimum delays.

It will greatly ease passenger and freight traffic and decongest the Daund-Manmad route, which is a critical section for trains from North India to South India via Pune and for pilgrims going to the famous pilgrimage destinations of Shirdi and Shani-Shignapur.

It will also help improve safety by allowing for more time for maintenance blocks.

Moreover, defence and security of India will be strengthened through improved connectivity as Ahmednagar is a major tank base of Southern Command, Indian Army.

Doubling will also promote economic activity in and around the Daund-Manmad route, as industries will have additional transport capacity to meet their requirements.

Further, doubling will promote rail tourism as it would improve connectivity to Shirdi and Shani-Shignapur and ease pilgrimage traffic, as the site attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims throughout the year.

The project will also generate direct employment during construction for about 59.40 lakh mandays. Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik districts of Maharashtra will be directly benefited through this project.

The line capacity utilization of Daund-Manmad section during the year 2014-15 was 156% with maintenance block.

The doubling of Bhigwan-Mohol, Hotgi-Gulbarga on Mumbai-Chennai main route is in progress and once completed, there will be tremendous increase in traffic over the Daund-Manmad section.

Thus, an existing single line will not be in a position to deal with the increased traffic and make this section a bottleneck, as capacity utilization has already reached saturation. Therefore, doubling between Daund-Manmad section is necessary.

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