Daily Archives: March 15, 2012

Surveys to be made for 3 new rail lines

Surveys for three new railway lines have been announced in the 2012-13 railway budget. The lines for which surveys have been announced are, Raipur-Bargarh via Aarang, Tumgaon, Jhalap and Sairapali, Ambikapur-Jharsuguda to connect with Delhi main line and Ambikapur-Jharsuguda via Batuali, Sitapur, Pathalgaon and Kotba.

 Proposals for two new lines, Raipur-Jharsuguda and Rayagada-Gopalpur have been sent for approval of the Planning Commission. The Begunia-Nayagarh section of Khurda-Balangir railway line and Talcher-Sunkhani of Talcher-Bimlagarh railway line have been targeted for completion in 2012-13.

Three trains have been extended. The Bhubaneswar-Jharsuguda Rajya Rani Express has been extended to Rourkela while the Howrah-Koraput express will be extended to Jagdalpur. Similarly, the Raipur-Kesinga passenger has been extended to Bhawanipatna.

The State Government had requested for extension of nine passenger and express trains in the budget. Besides, the demand for increase in the frequency of 16 trains has been ignored.

Though the State  had requested for three new electrification of feeder links, electrification proposal of only Titlagarh-Sambalpur-Jharsuguda and Angul-Sambalpur have been considered.

Bangalore double-decker among 10 new TN trains

Train journeys between Chennai and Bangalore could become even more comfortable and luxurious soon with the railways proposing to launch an air-conditioned double-decker daily service connecting the two major south Indian cities.

Announcing this in the railway budget on Wednesday, Minister for Railways Dinesh Trivedi informed the House that several new trains would be introduced in Tamil Nadu. Chennai is set to get three more weekly trains to Puri, Shalimar, Visakhapatnam and Asansol through Purulia, Sambalpur and Vizianagaram.

Trains connecting different parts of the country from major cities in the State were also announced in the budget. Coimbatore-Bikaner AC Express (Weekly) via Roha, Vasai Road, Ahmedabad and Jodhpur, Tiruchy-Tirunelveli Intercity Express (Daily) via Madurai and Virudhunagar, Dadar (T)-Tirunelveli Express (Weekly) via Roha, Coimbatore and Erode, Mannargudi-Tirupati Express (Tri-Weekly) via Tiruvarur, Villupuram and Katpadi, Kacheguda-Madurai Express (Weekly) via Dharmavaram, Pakala and Jolarpettai have been proposed for Tamil Nadu this year.

Two daily passenger trains from Villupuram to Katpadi and Mayiladuthurai have also been announced. Besides, a Mainline Electric Multiple Unit from Palakkad to Erode and a daily Diesel Electric Multiple Unit on the Mannargudi-Tiruchy-Manamadurai section were also part of the announcements.

Some cheer, but no bonanza for State

While there is clearly no bonanza for Tamil Nadu in the Railway Budget for 2012-13 presented by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi in Parliament on Wednesday, the proposals for 14 trains across categories, including eight express trains, extension of nine trains, 18 additional suburban services for Chennai and four railway electrification projects should provide some cheer for the State’s rail users.

The new services for the State are the Coimbatore-Bikaner AC Express (Weekly) via Roha, Vasai Road, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur; Chennai-Bangalore AC double-decker Express (daily); Tiruchi-Tirunelveli Intercity Express (daily) via Madurai, Virudunagar; Visakhapatnam-Chennai Express (weekly); Kacheguda-Madurai Express (weekly) via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Jolarpettai; Mannargudi – Tirupati Express (tri-weekly) via Thiruvarur, Villupuram, Katpadi; Chennai-Puri Express (weekly); and Asansol – Chennai Express (weekly) via Purulia, Sambalpur,Vizianagaram.

The trains that have been extended are 16779/16780 Madurai-Tirupati Express to Rameswaram; 22609/22610 Palakkad-Mangalore Express to Coimbatore; 12687/12688 Dehradun-Chennai Express to Madurai (via Erode); 11017/11018 Dadar-Yesvantpur Express to Puducherry (3 days) via Jolarpettai-Katpadi-Villupuram and to Tirunelveli (3 days) via Dharmapuri-Erode; 16649/16650 Mangalore-Thiruvananthapuram Express to Nagercoil; 56011/56012 Arakkonam – Nandalur Passenger to Cuddapah; 56714/56711 Tiruchchirapalli-Nagore Passenger to Karaikal; 66602/66603 Coimbatore-Erode MEMU to Salem; and 76818/76813 Velankanni-Nagore DEMU to Karaikal.

The frequency of four trains has been increased. They are 16779/16780 Madurai-Tirupati Express (2 to 3 days); 12685/12686 Chennai-Mangalore Express (6 to 7 days); 12641/12642 Nizamuddin Kanniyakumari Express (1 to 2 days); and 22603/22604 Kharagpur-Villupuram Express (1 to 2 days).

Electrification projects

The four electrification projects sanctioned are Coimbatore-Mettupalayam, Erode – Karur-Tiruchchirappalli and Karur-Dindigul, and Karaikkal/Karaikkal port-Thiruvarur-Thanjavur- Tiruchi-Nagapattinam- Velankanni.

Apart from the Palakkad-Coimbatore-Erode MEMU service, a newly-introduced passenger train — Villupuram-Katpadi Passenger (daily) — and a DEMU service — Mannargudi-Trichy-Manamadurai (daily) — will benefit commuters in these areas.

No new lines have been sanctioned while the ones that will be completed this fiscal are the Namakkal-Mohanur; Needamangalam-Manargudi; Mohanur-Karur; and Walajah Road-Ranipet stretches.

New line surveys are proposed from Chennai to Sriperumbudur via Guindy, Poonamallee; Kancheepuram-Tiruvannamalai-Katpadi; Kumbakonam-Andimadam-Jayankondam-Vridhachalam; Thanjavur to Pudukottai via Gandharvakottai; Attipattu-Ennore sea port; and Dindigul-Kumuli via Bodinayakkanur stretches.

Doubling along with electrification has been sanctioned for the Madurai-Tirunelveli-Kanyakumari route and the Trivandrum-Kanyakumari route.

Gauge conversion is proposed on the Shencottah-Bhagavathipuram and Pollachi-Kinattukkadavu segments while ongoing works targeted for closure by this fiscal end are the Virudhnagar-Arupukottai; Mayiladuturai – Tiruvarur; Palani-Pollachi; Pollachi-Palakkad; and Arupukottai-Manamadurai projects.

Doubling works for 2012-13 are the Attipattu-Ennore 4th line; Ottivakkam-Madurantakam; Melmaruvthur-Tozhuppedu; Tindivanam-Perani; Arakkonam-Tiruvalangadu; and Ariyalur-Valadi. Doubling is scheduled for completion on the Chengalpattu-Villupuram and Ennore-Attipattu 3line stretches.

The doubling work on Jollarpettai-Kaatpadi-Arakkonam sector and new line proposals for Jolarpettai-Hosur via Krishnagiri, Karaikal-Peralam and Avadi-Guduvancheri via Sriperumbudur and Oragadam projects await clearance from the Planning Commission.

A Rail Neer plant in Palur and a bio-diesel unit in Tondiarpet also figure in the projects for the State.

Tamil Nadu is one of the five States chosen for setting up 72 MW capacity windmill plants.

ZP chief taken to unknown destination

High drama unfolded outside the office of the District Rural Development Agency after the newly-elected ZP president Sobhagini Naik of the BJD was bundled into a vehicle along with other ZP members and driven to an undisclosed destination. It has reportedly been done keeping in mind the upcoming vice-president election. Naik defeated Anita Singh of Congress by two votes while the lone BJP member, Ramesh Pradhan, abstained.

Orissa ignored in Rail budget once again

Venting his discontent against the Railway Budget for 2012-13 for its failure to address Orissa’s priorities and concerns, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik termed the Centre’s allocation of Rs 714 crore for the state as ‘grossly insufficient’.

Patnaik trained his guns on the Centre for raising passenger fares, a move, he said, would adversely affect the common man, including the people of Orissa.

Passenger fares have been raised across the board in the current Budget with the hike ranging from two paisa per km to 30 paisa per km depending on the class of rail travel.

“The Ministry of Railways was requested to allot Rs 2,345 crore for various ongoing projects in the state but only Rs 714 crore has been allotted in this regard. This is grossly insufficient and completely falls short of our legitimate demand. In fact, it is only half of what we have got in the last year’s Budget,” he told mediapersons here.

Patnaik also pointed out that only six trains have been sanctioned for Orissa as against the state’s demand for introduction of 19 new trains. Moreover, some of the trains announced in last year’s Railway Budget like Koraput-Sambalpur passenger and Visakhapatnam-Sambalpur express train are yet to be introduced, he added.

Though 11 new lines have been announced in the Railway Budget for 2012-13, not even one of them is for Orissa, he said, adding that the state has been demanding for expansion of rail network and improving rail services in the under-developed areas and have been requesting the Ministry of Railways to treat them as ‘national projects’.

He also hit out at the Railways ministry for failing to keep its commitment for developing world class railway stations for Bhubaneswar and Puri which were announced in 2010.

The new trains announced for Orissa in this year’s Railway Budget include Barbil-Chakradharpur intercity express, Puri-Bikaner weekly express (via Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Jeypore), Bhubaneswar-Bhawanipatna daily train (via Vizianagram), Puri-Yesvantpur Garib Rath weekly express, Bhubaneswar-Tirupati express and Baripada-Bangriposi pasenger.

The Budget is silent on the state’s proposal for raising frequency of 16 trains.

Though the state had requested for electrification of three feeder links, the Railways ministry has considered the electrification of only one line- Titlagarh-Sambalpur-Jharsuguda.

The current Budget has allocated Rs 107 crore for eight ongoing projects- Daitari-Banspani, Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh, Khurda Road-Bolangir, Haridaspur-Paradip, Angul-Duburi-Sukinda Road, Talcher-Bimlagarh, Sambalpur-Talcher and Digha-Jaleswar as against Rs 430.70 crore allocated in last year’s Budget.

For gauge conversion, the Budget has allocation of Rs 2.5 crore for the state while for doubling and electrification, the state has been allotted Rs 532 crore and Rs 71.48 crore respectively.

The Railway Budget has provided Rs 1 crore for setting up of a wagon factory at Sitalapalli in Ganjam district.