Konkan Railway to begin Work on Doubling Tracks from Nov 8, 2015

Konkan Railway also plans Rs 100 Crore station upgrade each year, and to take up mega projects like Ratnagiri district’s Jaigad Port connectivity, which costs Rs 750 crore.

Mumbai: Work on doubling of tracks on Konkan Railway will start from November 8, a senior official said today. “All paper works, including financing modalities, have been completed and foundation-laying ceremony would take place on November 8 in Kolad in the presence of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu,” Konkan Railway CMD Bhanu P Tayal told reporters here.

“Doubling of the tracks along with the electrification would start from November 8. The process of awarding the tender would begin soon. LIC has come forward to finance us and offered loan of Rs 250 crore at cheaper rates and other major finance companies have shown their interests to fund the project,” he said.

He said “Konkan Railway has got excellent rating of ‘AA+’ and hence lots of financing companies are likely to come forward to extend the loan. If need be, then we can come up with bonds also.”  The project of doubling tracks is estimated to cost the exchequer Rs 10,000 crore while the electrification project will cost around Rs 750 crore.  Konkan Railways has fixed the target of completing this project in next five years.

Tayal hoped that the project will be completed without facing fund shortage or the problem of land acquisition. “Doubling of the track will help Konkan Railway increase its passenger handling capacity, volume of profitability and also serve the people better,” he added.

The CMD further said Konkan Railway in 2014-15 fiscal achieved a net profit of Rs 39.39 crore as against Rs 13.11 crore in corresponding period of previous fiscal. Konkan Rail runs from Roha in Raigad district adjoining Mumbai to Mangaluru in neighbouring Karnataka. Considered an engineering marvel, it was constructed by KRCL which also operates it. The rail network passes over 2,000 bridges and through 91 tunnels built through mountainous terrain.

The Konkan Railway Corporation Limited, which has completed its silver jubilee, plans to spend Rs 100 crore every year to upgrade facilities at stations along its 741-km route traversing four states. The plan includes setting up facilities such as computerized reservation centres, escalators, CCTV surveillance, bio-toilets, Wi-Fi, solid waste management, disaster management centre, call centre, energy conservation and ATMs. Konkan Railway will also implement mega projects like Ratnagiri district’s Jaigad Port connectivity, which costs Rs 750 crore.

CMD Bhanu Tayal further said, “at seven stations, conventional toilets have been replaced by bio-toilets for disposing human waste. We will soon have similar toilets in railway compartments to avoid dirtying tracks. We have replaced the yellow sodium lights inside tunnels with energy efficient LED lights as we concentrate on solid waste management and energy conservation.”

“Two mega projects in the offing—the doubling of tracks and electrification—require an estimated Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 750 crore. Once we switch over to the electric mode from the diesel operations, Konkan Railway is expected around Rs 100 crore per annum. Track doubling will allow an increase in train services from the present 60 to 120. While these projects will take five years for completion, initially, LIC of India will give us loan of Rs 250 crore for 10 years and IIFCL Rs 1,100 crore. Tenders will be invited soon,” he said.

“Another two projects in the pipeline are Chiplun-Karad and Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur railway lines. These projects will cost Rs 3,000 crore and the state has assured us Rs 450 crore.”

On the 35-km-long project in J&K, Tayal said it was on the verge of completion with only 5 km of tunnel remaining. “We plan to have transparent coaches so that passengers can enjoy the route beauty. Each coach will cost Rs 5 crore,” he added.

Indrali Railway station to get escalator facility and extended platform

The platform will be widened and extended along with escalator facility at Udupi Railway Station said Bindu Muralidharan, Regional Railway Manager (Karwar), Konkan Railway. She was addressing a press meet at Community Hall earlier here yesterday.

Konkan Railway will step up its “Swach Bharat Campaign” by taking steps towards making its Madgaon Station as ‘Zero Waste Station’. The all waste at the Station will be converted suitably to green manure or energy. For this, a compost plant has been installed at Madgaon Station. Finally KR aims to achieve this for all the Stations under its jurisdiction in Goa. It is also planned to install bio-toilets on all the Stations falling under KR route. So Bio-toilets have been installed Kankavali, Sawantwadi, Chiplun, Karmali, Madgaon, Karwar and Byndoor Stations.

Already KR has initiated collection of biodegradable garbage from the Pantry Cars by paying an incentive of rupees 50 per 20 kg to encourage collection of garbage and avoid littering of garbage on the tracks and stations by Pantry Car. For any instance of littering or throwing of garbage in other than nominated areas by either the pantry car or catering vendors, a fine of rupees 50,000 per instance being realized by KR.

Competitions will be organised tor KR employees children for making crafts from Waste material. Konkan Railway is having a dedicated Toll-free Train Enquiry number 1 800-233-1332 on its system. The caller tune will be the ‘Swach Bharat’ caller tune w.e.f. 26.03.2015 KR will also be purchasing 200 no’s of brooms made from organic product and manufactured by  Sell-Help Group for the ‘ Cleanliness Drive’. Various schools, colleges and NGO’s are being approached for participating in ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. Officials have been nominated for inspection of all Stations along KR route to ensure proper cleanliness. Awards will also be given to those employees who have taken special initiative to keep their work areas and living areas clean.

Initiative for Skills Development by KR by imparting computer literacy to people in remote areas along KR routes have also been taken up. Already 15,916 villagers have availed of KR’s Shiksha Abhiyan. All KR employees irrespective of their Grade will be made computer literate. Tourist guide training is being impacted by KR to local taxi and auto rickshaw drivers to promote tourism.

During the fortnight special ticket checking drives have been planned on KR route. KR has earned rupees 9.07crores during 2013-14 and 11.48 crores during 2014-15 from fine collections by conducting surprise checks. Surprise as well as regular checks has been planned for catering services in trains and at stations. A special punctuality drive for trains is also organized for various trains.

For patients below poverty line, a special camp is been organized at Gokarna Station through telemedicine. Medicine disbursement will also be arranged free of cost to these patients by KR. Career counseling to the students of 10th and 12th class has been arranged through professionals.

Meetings will be held with Sarpanchs and villagers residing near level crossing gates to prevent level crossing accidents. Tourism policy for KR is under finalization with Tourism Directorate if Maharastra, Goa and Karnataka. For last two years, KR has been participating in Goa carnival and has won prizes for same. Special training in Yoga, fire fighting, civil defense is been organized for KR employees.

The improvements in passenger amenities are also planned during the year 2015. Widening of platform at Thivim along with high-level platform, new FOB, two additional lines. New PRS, widening of platform and new FOB at Sawantwadi, Escalators and Travelators at Ratnagiri, Widening of platform and one additional line at Kanakavali.

The Wi-Fi facility will be extended in Madgaon station along with escalators, widening of platform, bio-toilet, additional line and food court. A new station building, new platform and circulating area, 45 mtrs * 10 mtrs platform shelter.

The new projects that are planned are Jaigad Port Connectivity, Electrification, Patch Doubling and Chiplyun-Karad new railway line.

Sudha Krishnamurthy, Chief Public Relations Officer ( Konkan Railway) and others were present.

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