Saturday, August 18, 2007

Seven new rail lines cleared for backward areas including Bihar

The Indian government has decided to lay seven new rail lines in less known and neglected parts of India, like Dhar in Madhya Pradesh and Mananpur in Bihar, by 2012 at a cost of Rs 27.96 billion.

"The whole project covering a total length of 765 km is expected to cost Rs 27.96 billion and may be completed by 2012 at the latest," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said soon after the CCEA met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The costliest and longest of these seven projects would be the line from Rayadurg near Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh to Tumkur in Karnataka measuring 213 km that is expected to cost Rs 8.87 billion.

The next is from Chhota Udepur in Gujarat to Dhar in Madhya Pradesh covering 157 km, which is expected to take longer than all others. It is to be completed by 2012-13 at a cost of Rs 5.70 billion, said Chidambaram.

Another new line measuring just 33 km is to be laid from Chandigarh to Baddi, a small town in Himachal Pradesh, known for the Unichem drugs factory there. But it will cost Rs 3.28 billion, mainly because it will cut through hilly tracts.

Three new lines are being laid mainly in Bihar. These are the Bihta-Aurangabad line via Anugraha Narayan Road covering a length of 118 km that will cost Rs 3.26 billion. The second one in Bihar is to be laid from Bariarpur to Mananpur via Kharagpur and Barahat. This will cover a distance of 68 km and will cost Rs 2.51 billion.

The third is being laid from Sultanganj in Bihar to Katoria via Asarganj and Belhar. This will cover a distance of 75 km only and cost Rs 2.89 billion. Except for the Chhota Udepur line, all the other five are to be completed by financial year 2011-12, the finance minister announced.

Besides these, the metre gauge line between Bhojhipura and Tanakpur via Pilibhit in the terai region of Uttar Pradesh adjoining the hills of Uttarakhand and stretching over 101 km is being converted into broad gauge at a cost of Rs.1.45 billion. This project is expected to be completed by 2009-10.

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