Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 10:
After decades of wait, there finally is a deadline issued by East Coast Railway on railway connectivity to Odisha’s Nayagarh. The much discussed Khurda-Bolangir rail network will reach the town by March 2017.
The targeted dates were announced today during the mid-term review/ appraisal meeting by General Manager of East Coast Railway (ECoR) Rajiv Vishnoi.
As per a press release issued by ECoR, the track between Rajsunakhala and Bolagarh will be completed by June 2016 and the project between Bolagarh and Nayagarh would be completed by March 2017. Besides, work from Bolangir side will also start this year from Bolangir up to Bhainsapalli (19 KMs). The Rs 2000 crore 177 KM project is expected to be completed by 2021.
Notably, Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu had flagged off the first-ever train to run on the 32 km stretch of Khurda Road-Begunia section of the Khurda-Bolangir track at Begunia station on July 16. Extension of Khurda Road-Begunia-Khurda Road passenger train was flagged off recently on November 3.
Apart from the Khurda – Bolangir railway track, ECOR is targeting to finish the 1186 crore Haridaspur – Pradaeep New Rail Link (82.02 KMs) by December 2016, 1202.70 crore Angul – Sukinda New Rail Link (98.7 Kms) by June 2018.
It is taking the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) route for 50%-50% investment by stake holders like State Government, ports & industries and 45%-50% share by railways through Rail Vikash Nigam Ltd (RVNL) for speedy completion and operationalization of projects. Two such projects are already being executed in ECoR.
In another step that is likely to draw more passengers to its trains, ECoR plans to offer Wi-Fi facilities at 28 stations in this financial year. Work is likely to be completed as early as January 2016 in Bhubaneswar station.
Notably, ECoR has carried 83.37 MT originating freight from April to September 2015 of the current financial year instead of 77.82 MT carried during the period of 2014-15 fiscal by registering a growth of 7.13%.
Further, it is the only zone in Indian Railways to register a positive growth in passenger traffic. From April to September of the current financial year, ECoR has carried 47.49 million passengers by registering a growth of 5%, said the press release.