Railways floats tenders for doubling of two crucial lines

Railways floats tenders for doubling of two crucial lines

Project sanctioned on Yelahanka-Penukonda, Tumakuru-Arsikere

Railways floats tenders for doubling of two crucial lines
After five long years, the South Western Railway (SWR) has finally invited tenders for doubling of Yelahanka-Penukonda and Tumakuru-Arsikere rail lines.

Once these two lines, which handle heavy rail traffic, are doubled, the load on the Bengaluru City station can be managed better and more trains accommodated, SWR officials said.

The project was on the wish list for many years now, but was sanctioned only this year. Commendably, the SWR invited tenders within a few months to kick-start the project. This year, it had announced to start doubling four major tracks and complete them in five years. These are Yelahanka- Penukonda (120.55km), Hubballi-Chikjajur (190 km), Arsikere-Tumakuru (96 km) and Miraj-Londa (186 km). As things stand now, tenders for only Yelahanka-Penukonda (120.55 km) and Arsikere-Tumakuru (96 km) — estimated at Rs 960 crore and Rs 858 crore respectively — have been floated. While the overall cost of the two projects is close to Rs 2,000 crore, the SWR has invited tenders for just Rs 130 crore worth of works and the deadline for completing them is 18 months.

Sanjeev Dyamannavar from Praja, an NGO that works in the urban transport sector, said the delayed project was finally on track.

“The State government should fully co-operate with the railways in land acquisition for speedy execution of the project. Besides, once the track-doubling is over, more trains could ply on either side. The railways should remove level crossings (LCs) on the lines. Many accidents have happened on this track,” he said.

The SWR had announced to operationalise 146 km-long railway tracks this fiscal year. Of them, 73 km would be new lines and the rest part of track-doubling, according to its General Manager P K Saxena. Last year, 51 km-long new lines and 38-km double tracks were operationalised.
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