20% more grants for South Western Railway this time

It received โ‚น3,244 crore allocations which is the highest so far for the railway zone that was established in the year 2003

โ€œThe total grants to South Western Railway in the budget for 2021-22 has increased by โ‚น 536 crore, which is 20% more compared to the grants allocated in the previous budget (2020-21),โ€ Chief Public Relations Officer of South Western Railway E. Vijaya said here on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, Ms. Vijaya said that South Western Railway received a record โ‚น3,244 crore grants which is the highest so far for the railway zone established in 2003.

Together with โ‚น1,233 crore expected as deposit from the State government towards new lines, road overbridges and road underbridges, the budgetary allocation would be โ‚น 4,467 crore, she said. Emphasising that focus is on completing the ongoing projects rather than taking up new ones, she said that as more grants have been allocated for the zone, they will be able to expedite the works and complete a few of them within the next financial year. There has been a 67% jump in allocation for works on level crossings and 25% increase in grants for passenger amenities when compared to the last year, she said.

Giving comparative figures, she said that there has been an increase of 200% in allocations for signal and telecommunication works, 240% increase for other electrical works, 33% increase for machinery and plant and 17% increase for track renewals.

Ms. Vijaya said that while the zone has completed 105 kilometres of track doubling so far, it planned to complete another 66 kilometres by March-end. The zone has set a target of 203 km of track doubling for 2021-22. She said that the zone planned to complete 309 km of electrification in two months in addition to the 110 km completed so far. The target for the next fiscal is 849 km.

โ€œSouth Western Railway is all set to complete two important projects โ€” Yelahanka-Penukonda and Arsikere-Tumakuru track doubling projects by March 2022,โ€ she said.

Suburban rail

To a query, Ms. Vijaya clarified that the allocation for the Bengaluru Suburban Rail project has been mentioned in the Pink Book. The Ministry of Railways has allocated โ‚น 300 crore for the joint venture of the Ministry of Railways and the State government, which was being executed by KRIDE. An equivalent amount is also expected from the State government, she said.

To a query, she said that the Hubballi-Chikjajur track doubling project has been allocated โ‚น 336 crore and it will help in faster execution of work and completion in one and a half years. The Hosapete-Hubballi-Londa-Tinaighat-Vasco-da-Gama section doubling work has received โ‚น 365 crore, she said.

Ms. Vijaya said that hurdles in land acquisition has resulted in delay in taking up track doubling works on the Hubballi-Chikjajur section. However, in the Gadag-Wadi project, 615 hectares of land have been acquired so far out of the total 1,598 hectares required and the Railways has issued work orders for carrying out works where land has been provided.

Good allocation

She termed โ‚น 50 crore sanctioned for the Belagavi-Dharwad via Kittur new line as a good amount in the first year of the project. โ€œWe require 335 hectares of land for the 73 kilometre route and have submitted the land requirement details to the State government,โ€ she said.

To another query, she said that work on the Shivamogga-Shikaripur-Ranebennur 103-km new line is going on at a fast pace. As land is being made available, tenders are being floated. The total cost of the project is โ‚น1,400 crore and in the present budget, โ‚น 100 crore has been allocated, she said.

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