An earthmover prepares the ground for laying tracks near Tatanagar on Sunday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Groundwork for the third Tatanagar-Howrah railway line till Nagpur, a 2,000km mega plan aimed to decongest traffic on tracks, has begun in earnest, with a project completion deadline of 2015.
RITES Limited, a public sector undertaking specialising in engineering consultancy on rail transport, and Railway Vikas Nigam Limited, an Indian Railways construction wing, are carrying out work of laying new tracks.
Confirming the development, senior divisional commercial manager K.N. Biswas, also a spokesperson for Chakradharpur railway division, said: “The third railway line will connect Howrah and Nagpur via Tatanagar. Passenger and goods trains can use the new line. The project, aimed to streamline the ever-increasing train traffic, is covers 2,000km. Construction is being carried out on different stretches.”
The spokesperson said movement of passenger and goods trains on the Tatanagar-Howrah-Nagpur stretch — to be popularly referred to as the Mumbai route — had been rising, which had spurred the demand for a third line.
“With the expansion of corporate biggies such as Tata Steel and its group companies, freight movement is up. Goods trains now run on the Chakradharpur section, sometimes delaying passenger trains. This third railway line will widen the choice of tracks for trains,” said Biswas.
Right now, over 80 passenger (mail, express and superfast) trains and as many goods trains run daily, touching stations under the Chakradharpur railway division.
Though a source at Garden Reach, the Calcutta-based headquarters of South Eastern Railway (SER), said construction on the third railway line project would end by 2015, he also added that trains would run on newly laid stretches wherever work got over.
The source added a Railway Board team would inspect the ongoing work next week.
Tatanagar officiating station manager Rajendra Prasad sounded upbeat.
“The third railway line will prove a boon as attempts are being made to convert Tatanagar into a key railway junction after Howrah under South Eastern Railway,” he beamed.