CCEA approves doubling of Hatia-Bondamunda and Kiul-Gaya Railway lines
New Delhi: To augment the line capacity for freight traffic, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the doubling of the 158.5 km Ranchi (Hatia) – Bondamuda railway line to cater the needs of thermal power plants in the region. Estimated to cost Rs 1921.94 crore, the doubling project will ease traffic bottlenecks in the region and will benefit Ranchi, Gumla and Simdega districts of Jharkhand and Sundargarh district of Odisha.
Hatia-Bondamunda Rail line: The project is likely to be completed in the next six years during the 12th and 13th Plan period. With the expansion of the Bokaro Steel Plant and Rourkela Steel Plant, the utilisation of the existing line capacity will be to the tune of 226 per cent and 171 per cent respectively. Proposed Ranchi (Hatia)-Bondamunda line is a single line section which is being used for goods traffic to and from Bokaro Steel Plant and Rourkela Steel Plant and an average of 22 trains each way per day run over these sections. This indicates that the line is over saturated with utilisation to the tune of an average of 160 per cent resulting in detention of trains and consequential loss of revenue. Hence to cope up with the existing as well as additional traffic, doubling of the whole section is required or else the Railways will face capacity crunch in this already saturated section.
Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CCEA gave the nod for the capacity augmentation project, which is expected to serve freight traffic needs of the upcoming Super Thermal Power Plant at Barch and other thermal power plants like Katni and Baruni, according to a release.
Kiul-Gaya Rail Line: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for doubling of Kiul-Gaya Railway line of 124 km with a completion cost of Rs.1354.22 crore. Doubling of this line will greatly ease the ever increasing freight traffic between these sections. The project is likely to be completed by 2019-20. Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Nawadah and Gaya districts of Bihar will benefit from the project.
The Kiul-Gaya section falls in Danapur Division of East Central Railway. At present traffic utilization of the section is 135.5%. Since the existing section capacity is almost fully utilized and to cater to the continuously increasing freight traffic, the work of Kiul-Gaya doubling project is essentially required. The project will serve the freight traffic for Super Thermal Power Plant at Barh which is likely to be completed shortly. Daily requirement of Coal for this plant will be 18 rakes of coal and 14 pairs of goods trains are likely to move on this section. Average number of trains handled on the section per day is 13 trains each way. This includes 11 pairs of Passenger Trains and 2 pairs of goods trains. Five pairs of Mail/Express is expected to be augmented after commissioning of the Koderma-Tilayia section.
The project is likely to be completed by 2019-20. Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Nawadah, and Gaya districts of Bihar will benefit from the project.
Passengers’ body hails rail track doubling plan
Grand Chord Passengers Association (GCPA) on Saturday welcomed the railways’ decision to double the track between Gaya and Kiul railway stations. The body representing the interests of Magadh rail users hailed the decision taken a couple of days back by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) at its meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi.
Sources said the doubling of the track on the 124-km-long Kiul-Gaya stretch is estimated to cost more than Rs1,350 crore and likely to be completed in four years.
GCPA president DK Jain said it will benefit both the rail users and the railways. Several Assam-bound trains passing through Bihar from different states are likely to be diverted via Gaya once the Kiul-Gaya section was doubled. Earlier, Tinsukhia Mail used to pass through Gaya but it was diverted via Patna on account of the single track problem.
“Gaya-Kiul section remains one of the most neglected sections. The inter-connectivity of the Grand Chord section passing through Gaya and the main line passing through Patna will provide another option to the railways in case of emergency and accidental disruption of train movement on either section. Freight earning potential of the railways will also considerably go up,” said Jain.
Welcoming the decision, Jain regretted that the railways continued to neglect the immediate issues that agitated the rail users of the area. He referred to the demand for using the now abandoned double-decker rakes to run a daily train between Gaya and Howrah.
The double-decker train earlier used to run between Dhanbad and Howrah on a loss.
“The GCPA earlier demanded the extension of the double-decker train up to Gaya to make it economically viable. Instead of extending the train up to Gaya, the railways withdrew it. A team of the railways examined the feasibility of double-decker train on the Gaya-Howrah route. But a final decision is yet to be taken,” Jain added.