Rourkela: With Sundargarh district witnessing development in various sectors, the South Eastern Railway (SER) is all set to establish a second electric locomotive shed at Bondamunda of Rourkela city.
A release issued by SER stated that to meet the growing traffic needs of the zone, a decision has been taken to set up the second loco shed. There has been an annual traffic growth of eight to nine per cent on the Howrah-Mumbai main line and branch lines, the release stated, adding that IRCON has been assigned the project with a deadline to complete it by March 2017.
The existing electric loco shed at Bondamunda caters to repair and maintenance of about 200 electric engines of goods trains. With addition of the new facility, the combined capacity would increase to handle about 400 electric locomotives, they said.
The new facility, with state-of-the-art technology, will handle about 200 new generation electric locomotives of high horse power for goods trains.
Incidentally, the diesel loco shed set up in 1962 at Bondamunda holds the distinction of being one of the oldest sheds of Indian Railway. The diesel loco shed has been consistently handling 139 diesel engines of goods and coaching trains belonging to Chakradharpur, Kharagpur, Sambalpur, Khurda, Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Adra, Bilaspur and Raigarh divisions of the three zones.
Senior Divisional Electrical Engineer/Traction Rolling Stock/Chakradharpur Division Mr.Atulya Kumar, said Bondamunda holds strategic importance on the Howrah-Mumbai route and the second electric loco shed is necessitated to cater to the growing traffic needs of SER zone and nearby zones.
Laying of the third track of SER in Howrah-Kharagpur section has been completed and work in Rourkela-Tatanagar section is underway at sporadic locations, while work in Rourkela-Jharsuguda section would be taken up in next phase, Kumar said.
Track doubling proposal between Rourkela and Hatia has been approved while work on Bondamunda and Bimlagarh sections of SER is going on. Doubling of track between Rengali and Jharsuguda of East Coast Railway (ECoR) is also underway.
OBC Railway Employees’ Association president Prakash Sharma said since the new facility would use modern technology, it is likely to engage 250 to 300 direct employees. It will also provide indirect economic opportunities to local people and spare parts suppliers.
General secretary, Rail Users’ Association, AC Baral said the Indian Railways should also seriously consider implementing the old proposal to set up a wagon manufacturing factory at Bondamunda to use the iron plates and steel of Rourkela Steel Plant.