New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): In a significant move towards enhancing rail infrastructure and connectivity, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has granted approval for six transformative multi-tracking projects across Indian Railways. These projects, estimated to cost approximately Rs 12,343 crore, are poised to revolutionize rail operations, ease congestion, and contribute to the comprehensive development envisioned in Prime Minister Modi's New India initiative.
The approved projects span 18 districts in six states, namely Rajasthan, Assam, Telangana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Nagaland. The strategic expansion is set to augment the existing Indian Railways network by 1,020 kilometers. The primary objective is to alleviate congestion, enhance operational efficiency, and contribute to the employment and self-employment opportunities for the local population.
Key Project Details
Ajmer-Chanderiya Stretch (Rajasthan): Aiming to cover 178.28 kilometers, this project is estimated at Rs. 1813.28 crore.
Jaipur-Sawai Madhopur Stretch (Rajasthan): Encompassing 131.27 kilometers, this stretch has an estimated cost of Rs. 1268.57 crore.
Luni-Samdari-Bhildi Stretch (Gujarat & Rajasthan): This ambitious project spans 271.97 kilometers, with an estimated cost of Rs. 3530.92 crore.
Agthori-Kamakhya with new Rail cum Road Bridge (Assam): Covering 7.062 kilometers, this stretch is expected to cost Rs. 1650.37 crore.
Lumding-Furkating Stretch (Assam & Nagaland): Encompassing 140 kilometers, this project is estimated at Rs. 2333.84 crore.
Motumari-Vishnupuram and Rail over Rail at Motumari (Telangana & Andhra Pradesh): Covering 88.81 kilometers, this stretch has an estimated cost of Rs. 1746.20 crore.
Strategic Importance and Benefits
These projects align with the PM-Gati Shakti National Master Plan, emphasizing multi-modal connectivity for the seamless movement of people, goods, and services. With the creation of 1020 kilometers of additional rail infrastructure, the projects are expected to generate approximately 3 crore man-days of direct employment during the construction phase.
Apart from the significant economic impact, the multi-tracking initiatives target the essential routes for transporting commodities like food grains, fertilizers, coal, cement, and more. The resulting capacity augmentation is projected to accommodate an additional freight traffic magnitude of 87 MTPA, fostering economic growth and efficiency.
Environmental Impact and Future Implications
The Railways, recognized as an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient mode of transportation, aligns with climate goals and contributes to minimizing the logistics cost of the country. The augmentation of rail capacity is poised to reduce oil imports and lower CO2 emissions, emphasizing a sustainable approach to transportation infrastructure.
Transforming Railways for a Sustainable Tomorrow
As the Cabinet approves these six transformative multi-tracking projects, the Indian Railways is set on a trajectory of comprehensive development, operational efficiency, and environmental sustainability. The expansion of rail networks, coupled with the strategic creation of modern infrastructure, not only addresses the immediate congestion issues but also lays the groundwork for a resilient and eco-conscious future in Indian rail transport.