Konkan Railway chugs off big plans in Goa

मडगाँव Madgaon (MAO): With its ambitious plans of a double-track corridor yet to make any headway, the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) has now focused on increasing the lines at railway stations and setting up more stations with a view to facilitating introduction of new trains and reducing travel time.

In the Goa stretch of the route, additional lines have been installed at, at least, three railway stations, while three new lines have been added at the Balli station, and four more lines have been laid at Karmali.

Both stations functioned with two lines earlier. Besides, two additional platforms are being constructed at Margao railway station.

Several new railway stations have been constructed along the Konkan Railway route over the last four years, KRCL sources said.

In the Goa stretch, a new railway station at Loliem, between Asnoti and Canacona stations, has already started functioning.

“Increase in lines at railway stations and addition of more stations will result in reducing time spent during crossing of trains at stations, thereby considerably decreasing travel time,” explained Baban Ghatge, senior manager, public relations, KRCL.

While Byndoor (Mookambika road) and Nandikoor near Udupi are the new railway stations along the Karnataka stretch, Madure between Sawantwadi and Pernem, Zorap between Sawantwadi and Kudal, and Vinhere between Karanjadi and Diwankhavati are the new railway stations in Maharashtra.

Sources said that until the double-track corridor becomes a reality, KRCL will have to come up with such innovative ideas to facilitate smooth running of trains.

The project is estimated to cost over 15,000 crore. KRC’s Chairman and Managing Director Mr. Bhanu Prakash Tayal, addressing a press conference last year, had said there were several options before KRC to raise the required finances for the project, including seeking funds from international lending agencies.

A setback to KRCL’s planned expansion of its Margao railway station has been its failure to convince the Goa government to hand over some 3,500sqm of land on the Aquem side.

The land, it is learnt, is already with the government. Official sources said repeated correspondence with the state government has so far failed to evince any positive response.

The expansion plans included developing the other side of the station by adding a couple of platforms, building another foot-over-bridge, and setting up a booking counter, besides providing passenger amenities such as a waiting hall, parking area, etc.

“In the absence of adequate land for the purpose, we have been constrained to limit our expansion plans to constructing two more platforms towards the other side of the station,” said Ghatge. The initial plan was to have two covered platforms with two upper floors designed for commercial activities.