New Delhi: The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the much-awaited doubling of the Kothavalasa-Kirandul (KK) railway line that falls under the Waltair division of East Coast Railway (ECoR).
Kothavalasa–Kirandul line belongs to Waltair Railway Division of East Coast Railway Zone.
It passes through three states Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
While the entire Kirandul-Kottavalasa line is 445.5 km, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has granted approval for doubling 299.498 km of the stretch from Kothavalasa in Vizianagaram district to Jagdalpur in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.
The cost of the project is Rs 4816.66 crore and it is likely to be completed within the next seven years.
However, the approved project has been divided into two components.
While one component consists of doubling of the 189.278 km Kothavalasa-Koraput railway line at a cost of Rs 2977.64 crore, the other component consists of the 110.22 km Koraput-Jagadalpur railway line that would be doubled at a cost of Rs 1839.02 crore.
The decision to double the railway line was taken in a bid to ease the increasing freight traffic as well as increase the revenue of the Railways.
Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts in Andhra Pradesh, Koraput district of Odisha and Bastar district of Chhattisgarh will be benefited by this project.
Meanwhile, the committee has also given approval for the 164.56 km Koraput-Singapur Road railway line towards Rayagada in Odisha at a cost of Rs 2361.74 crore.
In 1960, Indian Railway took up three projects: the Kothavalasa – Araku – Koraput – Jeypore – Jagdalpur – Dantewara – Kirandaul line, the Jharsuguda – Sambalpur – Bargarh – Balangir – Titlagarh Project and the Biramitrapur – Rourkela – Bimlagarh – Kiriburu project.
All the three projects taken together were popularly known as the DBK Project or the Dandakaranya – Bolangir – Kiriburu project.
The Kothavalasa–Kirandaul line was opened in 1966–67 under South Eastern Railway Zone with financial aid of Japan for transporting Iron ore.
This line passes hill sections of Eastern ghats through Araku Valley.
This is the highest broad gauge in the world which touches as high as 996.32 metres above sea level (MSL).
The line has a total of 58 tunnels and 84 major bridges and each tunnel is as long as 520 metres.
Electrification of the line was completed in four phases. Kirandul–Jagdalpur section was completed in 1980.
Jagdalpur–Koraput section was completed in 1981. Koraput–Araku–Waltair section was completed in 1982.
The Kothavalasa–Kirandul route was completely electrified by 1982.
This line is mainly used for freight purposes which is a huge profit benefitting Waltair Division.
Nearly ₹3000 crore(US$450 million) of profit comes through this line. Iron ore from Baladila were transported to Waltair through this line.