SWR invites Tenders for Doubling of Yelahanka-Penukonda & Tumkur-Arsikere sections

After five long years, the South Western Railway (SWR) has finally invited tenders for doubling of Yelahanka-Penukonda and Tumakuru-Arsikere rail lines.  Tenders have been floated for works on a 55-km stretch on the Yelahanka-Penukonda (121 km) section and for 36 km on the Tumakaru-Arsikere (97 km) section

Bangalore (SBC): Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, who did not sanction any new project in the 2015-16 Railway Budget, has kick-started capacity enhancement of the Railway network. Of the 77 projects cleared by the Ministry this financial year, four are from South Western Railway (SWR).

Taking an unconventional way, South Western Railway has gone ahead with inviting tenders as soon as the Niti Aayog gave its in principle nod for two of the four line doubling projects.

Tenders for earth work and minor bridges have been invited for a 55-km stretch on the Yelahanka-Penukonda (121 km) section and for 36 km on the Tumakaru-Arsikere (97 km) section.

Both the lines have been crucial rail links to the central parts of Karnataka, including Bengaluru and Hubballi. While the Penukonda line is a gateway to the northern parts of the country via Dharmavaram and Gooty, the Arsikere line is the gateway to North Karnataka and further towards Mumbai.

Oversaturated single lines are being seen as bottlenecks to introducing any new train or speeding up the movement of existing services, said Sanjeev Dyamannavar from praja.in.

Ashok Gupta, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Construction, South Western Railway, told The Hindu that the South Western Railway has moved swiftly as it normally takes two or three years to commence a project after getting in principle approval.

However, the actual work would start only after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gives its formal nod, he said.

“We have divided the project into several reaches so as to take up the work simultaneously at different locations. Funds would not be a constraint as the Ministry has tied up with LIC for the purpose,” Mr. Gupta said.

Availability of land is not an issue as South Western Railway is in possession of major portions of land required for doubling. South Western Railway may take a maximum of four years to complete the entire project, he said.