Prioritising early completion of rail track projects, Indian Railways has completed over 1,000 route kilometres of new lines/gauge conversion/multi tracking in the current financial year.
Aiming at reducing the unit cost of logistics to minimum, rail infrastructure projects concerning tracks have been given a big push.
As a result, progress of railway track projects including new lines, gauge conversion and multi-tracking (doubling/tripling) has shot up almost three times during April-September period as compared to the last year.
During the current fiscal till 21 September 2022, the railways has completed 1,353 track kilometres of new lines, gauge conversion and multi tracking projects. Another 150 track kilometres is likely to be added in the month of September itself.
The completion of tracks in the year is more than three times for the same period last year.
Last year, 482 track kilometres was completed till 30 September 2021.
During this year, 42 km of new line, 28 km of gauge conversion and 1,283 km of multi tracking has been completed.
However, during last financial year, only 4 km of gauge conversion and 478 km of multi tracking was achieved till this time. No progress in the new lines was achieved during the corresponding period.
Doubling/multi tracking work was completed between Daund and Gulbarga (225 km) in the Golden Quadrilateral route of Mumbai-Chennai and Vijayawada-Gudivada-Bhimavaram (221 km), Secunderabad-Mahabubnagar (85 km) section in Telangana.
Gauge conversion was carried out on Mansi-Saharsa-Purnea (169 km) in Bihar, Mavli-Badi Sadri (82 km) in Rajasthan.
A new line was completed in Bhadrachalam-Sathupalli (56 km) in Telangana.
During 2022-23, total capex allocated for new line/doubling/gauge conversion in 2022-23 is Rs 67, 000 crore while actual expenses till August 2022 is Rs 20,075 crore.
In 2021-22, total capex allocated for new line/doubling/gauge conversion in 2021-22 was Rs 45,465 crore. Actual expenses till August 2021 was Rs 15,281 crore.
It is to be noted that in new line/doubling/gauge conversion, 2,904 km was achieved against a target of 2,400 km during 2021-22 which was highest ever commissioning (excluding DFC). Target for the current year is 2,500 track kilometres.
Various steps are being taken by the government for effective and speedy implementation of rail projects including:
(1) Substantial increase in allocation of funds on priority projects.
(2) Delegation of powers at field level.
(3) Close monitoring of progress of project at various levels.
(4) Regular follow-up with state governments and concerned authorities for expeditious land acquisition, forestry and wildlife clearances and for resolving other issues pertaining to projects.