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Old plea to new rail minister

Passenger associations have requested the new railway minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal, to speed up the proposed Namkum-Kandra railway line that will shorten the distance between the state capital and Jamshedpur by over 90 km.

Chotanagpur Passenger Association and Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee pointed out that once the direct railway line came up, economic activity in the towns in between the state capital and the steel city would boom.

The new railway line would also help students of Jamshedpur and nearby areas, as Ranchi was fast becoming an education hub.

“We congratulated the new minister on his new assignment and drew his attention to the 2004 Namkum-Kandra railway line proposal, work on which was yet to start,” said Arun Tiwari, general secretary of Chotanagpur Passenger Association, which sent a letter to him on Wednesday.

At present, the railway line between Ranchi and Jamshedpur passes through Silli-Muri and is nearly 190 km long. Travel time is about three hours.

If direct tracks were laid through Bundu and Tamar, the distance would come down to 100 km. The travel time would also come down drastically.

“The new train line has already been delayed. Now, we would like the railways to set up a speed corridor between the two cities so that travel time will be only around 45 minutes,” said Tiwari.

About a month back, chief minister Arjun Munda said the state government had already allotted Rs 400 crore for the Namkum-Kandra project, the total cost of which was expected to be around Rs 900 crore.

Kandra is near Jamshedpur, connected to the main Chakradharpur-Tatanagar railway line. Howrah bound trains that go through Silli-Muri-Tatanagar can go to Tatanagar directly and then to Howrah, once the new line is laid.

Everyday, thousands of people travel between Ranchi and Jamshedpur. But, as the train takes more time, the road route, which takes about three-and-a-half hours, is preferred by most.

“Many will like to take the train if travel time is reduced to 45 minutes,”said Sajan Sarraf, Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee member.


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