Doubling of Pune-Miraj-Londa Railway line

Railway TracksPune: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for doubling of Pune-Miraj-Londa railway line project at an estimated cost of Rs.3,627.47 crore and expected completion cost of Rs.4,246.84 crore with 5% escalation per annum.

The length of the railway line will be 467 km. The completion period of the project will be five years.

Besides travelling people, industries in and around Miraj-Londa section will have additional transport capacity to meet their requirements. Doubling of this line will greatly ease the ever increasing freight traffic between Pune-Miraj-Londa section thereby increasing the revenue of Railways.

Background:

Miraj is a junction station on Londa to Mumbai double line route via Sangli, Karad, Satara. The Pune-Miraj section is non-electrified single line on diesel traction and it is oversaturated. The additional traffic running over and above 100% of utilization is proposed to be diverted on the proposed doubling. The doubling of the section would come as an advantage as it would strengthen the rail network necessary to operate more passenger trains with increased speed and better efficiency. Doubling between Bangalore-Hubli and Hospet-Vasco-da-gama is already in progress. Once these works are completed, there will be tremendous increase in traffic over the Miraj-Londa section. Therefore, doubling between Pune-Miraj-Londa is required.

Ambitious Pune-Miraj-Londa line gets Rs 242 crore boost

The ambitious 467-km-long Pune-Miraj-Londa double line project has gotten a huge boost with Central Railway’s (CR’s) construction department readying work orders of Rs..242 crore to build bridges and other land works over a stretch of 175km. The project is being carried out jointly by CR and South Western Railway (SWR) because the Pune-Miraj section is within CR’s limits and the Miraj-Londa stretch is in SWR’s jurisdiction. Firms vying for these works will be chosen by May and the physical work on the ground is expected to start by the latter half of the year.

The project, which will increase railway connectivity between the southern part of the country and Maharashtra, is being given a healthy emphasis by the railway ministry as well as the state government. Officials said that robust allotments to the project, as has been the case for the past two financial years, could see parts of it being commissioned by the middle of 2019, which is a poll year for both the state and the Centre.

The railway ministry had allotted Rs.206.7 crore for the project for the financial year 2015-16 and has allotted Rs.325 crore for the new year, i.e. 2016-17. The total cost of the project is Rs.4,670 crore, which comes to Rs.10 crore per kilometre of work. While Rs.125 crore of this total cost will come from the railway’s kitty, the lion’s share — Rs.4,545 crore — will be pooled in from institutional financiers, possibly the Life Insurance Corporation of India.

The final location survey of the 280-km route between Pune and Miraj was completed by CR by late last year and officials said the fact that work orders have been readied as early as April is a good sign.

“The entire work might take anything between six to eight years because there is a considerable amount of land that needs to be acquired. However, even by commissioning patches of the route in the next three years, the gains from the project will be very high,” said a senior CR official.

The Pune-Miraj-Londa line, along with the Ahmednagar-Beed-Parli line, are the two projects which both the state government and the railway ministry are pursuing with vigour as both projects have the potential to vastly improve railway commuting in Maharashtra, and also give political dividends to the ruling BJP.

The project numbers:

Length of Pune-Miraj-Londa double line: 467km

Stretch within CR limits: 280km

Stretch within SWR limits: 187km

Total cost of the project: Rs.4,670 crore

Railway’s contribution: Rs125 crore

Extra budgetary resources (institutional finance): Rs.4,545 crore

Expenditure last year (2015-16): Rs.206.7 crore

Expenditure this new fiscal (2016-17): Rs.125cr (rly) plus Rs.300cr (EBR) = Rs.425 crore

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