Final decision will be taken by the Railway Ministry by month-end
Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd., (KRCL), which has got clearances from the Union government to double the 741-km track in patches, is keen on taking up the work at one go.
If everything goes as per plans, the double line will be added to the existing network of Konkan Railway, which will be the shortest line between the south and the north. KRCL believes that doubling has to be done entirely to exploit its advantages unlike patch doubling which offers only partial relief.
A decision in this regard is likely to be taken by this month-end, said KRCL’s chairman and managing director Sanjay Gupta. Interacting with presspersons here during his visit, Mr. Gupta said that Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu had laid the foundation stone for patch doubling between Roha and Veer (46 km) and the electrification of the entire route network.
Work would be taken up on the 31-km stretch between Sindhudurg and Sawantwadi Road and the 112-km stretch between Thokur and Byndoor. If the Ministry approves KRCL’s proposal to take up doubling at one go, the corporation would have to seek funds from external sources, even as the Life Insurance Corporation of India has already subscribed to its bonds worth Rs. 250 crore. Mr. Gupta said that as of now, the corporation had no proposal to double the line on major bridges (179) and tunnels (92), though not completely ruling out the possibility.
Even without doubling the line on these stretches, the speed could considerably be increased and train movement could be regulated at stations at both the ends of tunnels and bridges.
The number of trains operated on the Konkan network has increased manifold over the years.
While an average of 30 trains, including 23 passenger and seven freight trains, were operated in 2004-05, the numbers increased to 62 including 46 passenger and 16 freight trains in 2014-15. The track utilisation has touched 175 per cent making it highly difficult to introduce more trains on the network.
Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd., will construct a road overbridge at Haleyangadi if the State government provides land and shares half the construction cost, said KRCL chairman and managing director Sanjay Gupta.
Two level-crossings in Haleyangadi region would have to be merged and brought under one RoB, for which suitable planning had to be made, he told reporters here recently. With the number of vehicles considerably increasing on Haleyangadi-Pakshikere Road and the frequent closure of the level-crossing road, people have been put to great hardship. The demand for an RoB is not yet met with by the authorities.
Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. is keen on exploiting the commercial potential of about 25 acres of its land around Mookambika Road Byndoor Station in Udupi district by roping in private players.
KRCL chairman and managing director Sanjay Gupta said here recently that the corporation would provide the air-space of its station as well as some land to private partners to build hotel or similar projects with a condition that the partner would have to develop the station. Byndoor station attracts heavy footfalls due to its proximity to famous pilgrim centre Kollur.