PATNA: Union minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha on Thursday laid the foundation stone for doubling of the 129-km broad gauge track between Kiul and Gaya junctions under East Central Railway (ECR). “The Rs 1,200 crore project is expected to be completed by 2020,” Sinha said after laying the foundation stone.
Sinha said the track doubling would also help railways maintain punctuality of goods trains running on this route. “The project was sanctioned during 2015-2016 fiscal and railways had allocated adequate funds to complete it on priority basis,” he said, adding Bihar has got about Rs 3,696 crore share in the current general Budget to carry out various development works of railways.
The minister said the Kiul-Gaya route passes through four districts of Bihar – Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Nawada and Gaya – and the railways will build 22 big and 25 small bridges while completing track doubling work on the route.
He also announced the electrification of the railway route between Tilaiya (Hisua) and Kiul stations. He said the railway electrification work between Tilaiya and Kiul (87km) will be completed at an expenditure of about Rs 100 crore. Electrification work will help railways run faster passenger and goods trains on the route,” he said.
Sinha, who also holds the charge of Union communications minister, launched the linking of nine panchayats under Narhat block with 3G services via remote on Thursday.
Railway sources said the then railway minister Nitish Kumar had also announced the doubling of the Gaya-Kiul railway route during his visit in 2001 to Tilaiya station (now a junction). Nitish had then inaugurated the Koderma-Tilaiya-Rajgir route to enable the running of freight trains in order to shorten the route of coal delivery to the power plant of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Barh. But the doubling of the Gaya-Kiul tracks never took off.
Sinha was accompanied by Nawada BJP MP and Union state minster for micro and small industries Giriraj Singh and LJP MP Chirag Paswan.
Hisua BJP MLA Anil Singh requested Sinha to link Pawapuri railway station in Nalanda district with Nawada railway station so as to facilitate the people to reach Patna and New Delhi from Nawada. Presently, only two express trains – Gaya-Howrah Express (daily) and Kamakhya Express to Assam (biweekly) – run on the Gaya-Kiul loop line. The doubling is expected to provide a major boost to industrial development in Nawada which does not have even a single industrial unit left following the closure of Mohini Sugar Mill at Warisaliganj in 1993.
Railway Board member A K Mittal, ECR GM D K Gayen, Danapur DRM R K Jha and many other senior railway officials were present on the occasion.