The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved investments worth more than Rs 27,000 crore for expansion of railway lines in 11 states and development of 1,120 km national highways in five states.
To cope with local demand and smoothen rail traffic, the CCEA gave its nod for the construction of a third line on several busiest railway routes, including Itarsi-Nagpur, Jhansi-Bina and Mathur-Jhansi sections.
The 280 km-long third line between Itarsi and Nagpur, given approval, is estimated to cost Rs 2,449.91 crore -- with anticipated completion cost pegged at Rs 2,882.94 crore -- and is expected to be completed in five years. Besides facilitating travel, the line will provide additional transport capacity for industries in and around the Itarsi-Nagpur section. Hoshangabad, Chhindwara and Betul districts of Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur district of Maharashtra will be covered by this line.
The CCEA also gave its approval for construction of a third line between Ballarshah and Kazipet at an estimated cost of Rs 2,063.03 crore and expected completion cost of Rs 2,403.22 crore. The 201.04 km-long railway line is expected to be completed in five years. Besides facilitating travel, power plants, coal and cement traffic will have additional transport capacity to meet their requirements. Warangal, Adilabad and Karimnagar districts of Telengana and Chandrapur district of Maharashtra will be covered by this line.
CCEA also approved the construction of a third line between Jhansi-Bina and Mathura-Jhansi. Besides facilitating the travel, goods trains passing through both these sections will get adequate capacity for smooth running. Jhansi and Lalitpur districts of Uttar Pradesh and Sagar district (Bina) of Madhya Pradesh will be covered by Jhansi-Bina line while Mathura, Agra and Jhansi districts of Uttar Pradesh, Datiya, Gwalior and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh and Dholpur district of Rajasthan will be covered by the Mathura-Jhansi line.
The Mathura-Jhansi section is a broad gauge double-line on the New Delhi-Mumbai CST route. These projects will enhance capacity, reduce detention and cater for future growth of traffic. At present, the number of passenger and goods trains on these sections is far more than the capacity, resulting in heavy detention for trains.
The construction of a third line between Vijaywada Junction and Gudur Junction was also given the nod by the CCEA. Krishna, Guntur, Prakasham and P.S. Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh will be covered by this line.
The construction of a third line between Rajnandgaon-Nagpur (Kalumna) in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh and Gondia, Bhandara and Nagpur districts in Maharashtra was also given the CCEA nod.
CCEA also approved the construction of a third line between Kharagpur (Nimpura) and Adityapur in West Singhburn districts of Jharkhand. This line will ease the ever-increasing freight traffic between these sections.
The CCEA gave its approval for construction of a fourth line between Jharsuguda and Bilaspur. The Jharsuguda-Bilaspur route forms part of the Howrah-Mumbai trunk route passing through major industrial areas. This line plays an important role in transportation of freight and passenger traffic from eastern and southern regions to northern and western regions, and vice versa. In order to meet the growth in the freight and passenger traffic, construction of fourth line on this route was essential.
The CCEA also approved the construction of a second line between New Bongaigaon and Kamakhya of Northeast Frontier Railway in Assam. The single main line section from New Bongaigaon to Kamakhya via Goalpara is an alternative route to New Bongaigaon-Kamakhya via Rangiya linking Guwahati. The doubling of New Bongaigaon-Kamakhya via Goalpara route would augment the line capacity for smooth running of trains through the section.
CCEA approves highways development in five states
As a part of the National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP), the government approved constructing 1,120 km national highways in Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal with World Bank assistance.
The work is scheduled to be completed by July 2024 at an estimated cost of Rs 6,461 crore, including the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.
The proposal was initially approved for Rs 5,193 crore. The cost increased due to higher bid prices, and increase in cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.
“The projects have already been taken up for implementation and 429-km roads completed. The civil works are expected to be completed by July 2019 and maintenance works by July 2024. The project will ensure safe, fast and all-weather movement of traffic on the proposed National Highways, mostly located in backward regions, thereby boosting socio-economic development,” an official statement said here.