Pune-Londa rail route project gets Central govt’s nod

New Delhi: With the Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Vasco and Bangalore-Hubli track doubling projects already in progress, the cabinet committee on economic affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently gave its approval for doubling of Pune-Miraj-Londa railway line project at an estimated cost of 3,627.47 crore. The estimated completion cost has been pegged at 4,246.84 crore with 5% escalation per annum.

The project was necessitated in view of anticipation of tremendous increase in traffic over the Miraj-Londa section once the doubling of Bangalore-Hubli and Hospet-Vasco-da-Gama tracks get completed.

Central Railway’s construction department, official sources in the know told, has already prepared work orders of 242 crore to build bridges and other land works over a stretch of 175 km.

The project is being carried out jointly by CR and South Western Railway as Pune-Miraj section is within CR’s limits and Miraj-Londa stretch is in SWR’s jurisdiction. Actual work on the ground is expected to start by the year’s latter half.

A source said the project is likely to take 6-8 years for completion in view of the large tracts of land that require to be acquired for the project.

The railway ministry had allotted 206.70 crore for the project in 2015-16 and has allotted Rs 325 crore in 2016-17. The total cost of the project is 4,670 crore, which comes to Rs 10 crore per kilometre of work. While 125 crore of this total cost will be borne by the Indian Railways, the lion’s share, 4,545 crore, will be pooled in from institutional financiers, possibly the Life Insurance Corporation of India, sources said.

The doubling of the Pune-Miraj-Londa line will lead to enhancement of the transport capacity of industries in and around Miraj-Londa section. The work on Hospet-Hubli-Londa-Tinaighat section (245 km) is being taken up under phase one at an estimated cost of 928.85 crore and is expected to be done by 2018.

The doubling of the track will facilitate movement of imported coal from Mormugao Port to steel industries and thermal power plants at Jewargi in Gulbarga district, and thermal expansion phase two in Bellary, Karnataka.

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