With the issue of model code of conduct for general elections right around the corner, the ministry of railway had approved Rs 922 crores for the Nagpur-Nagbhid gauge conversion project. The amount for the 106km stretch was sanctioned on Monday.
The project will be inaugurated in the next couple of days, post which the work on this long-pending gauge conversion project will begin. The project which was announced in 2013-14, will have its works equally divided between the state and the South East Central Railway (SECR).
Rs 673.84 crores of the total amount of Rs 922 crores has been allocated for the civil works. The remaining sum has been divided into Rs 182.42 and Rs 65.74 crores for electrical works and signaling works, respectively.
The broad-gauge project will be handy in transporting coal to the power plants set up in the Vidarbha region. A total saving of Rs 152 crores is expected for Mahagenco on the completion of the project as the transportation distance will lessen between coal from the Chandrapur mines to the company’s power plants. The new broad gauge line will also facilitate as a alternative route for passengers trains that are heading towards South India.
In 2017, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had sanctioned Rs 354 crores in a cabinet meeting for the same project. The money was to be apportioned in the budgets accordingly.
Only the Nagpur-Nagbhid stretch has been impending for conversion out of the total the 628km narrow gauge network under Nagpur division of SECR. As per the estimates, the project would have taken huge costs for conversion which resulted in the delay. On the announcement, the project was estimated to cost Rs 401 crores. The state government had concurred to share Rs 188.11 crores of the projected cost.
Based on the project’s terms of reference (TOR), the abstract cost of the project has been revised to Rs 708.11 crores as per the advice of the Railway Board. It includes additional cost of gradients, bridges, signalling, mechanical, electrification etc. The total cost now has been marked to Rs 922 crores.
Information source: timesofindia
Title image source: indiarailinfo