SCR starts engine trials between Manoharabad and Gajwel, a precursor to safety trial runs
Train connectivity to Gajwel, constituency of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, is within the horizon as the South Central Railway (SCR) has started conducting ‘engine trials’ between the 32-km Manoharabad and Gajwel stretch.
This exercise is a precursor for the Commissioner of Rail Safety to take up safety trial runs and once he gives his clearance, it opens up the scope for railways to extend train services up to Gajwel providing a cheaper, safer, faster and eco-friendly public transport system for passengers and cargo, point out senior railway officers.
The virgin line is actually the first phase of the 151.40-km Manoharabad-Kothapalli project estimated to cost about ₹1,200 crore as on 2016 with the Telangana government accepting responsibility to foot one-third of the cost and provide land free for the project.
It has also offered to pay annuity for up to five years of commissioning the railway line where it will foot the cost of operations.
Link to Sircilla, Siddipet
Once the entire route is completed, it will connect Sircilla and Siddipet too, the constituencies of IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao and Finance Minister T. Harish Rao, resepctively. The work is obviously behind schedule — the Gajwel railway line was supposed to have been completed at least two years ago.
Delays are attributed to land acquisition, diversion of crossing of national highway, diversion of Mission Bhagiratha pipelines, etc. SCR had spent ₹240 crore including State government’s share of ₹60 crore and the latter is yet to pay another ₹70 crore for constructing four major bridges, 46 minor bridges and six road over/under bridges on the route.
A total of 220 acres was acquired for the work with new station buildings coming up at Manoharabad, Nacharam and Gajwel for the section along with modern electrification and signalling system.
SCR officials aver that the remaining sections between 33 km Gajwel-Duddeda, 15 km Duddeda – Siddipet and 38.60 km Siricilla-Kothapalli can be completed within the next four to five years if the land acquisition process is completed and the funds are released on time as there is bound to be cost escalation too.
“The project, when completed fully, can provide quick connectivity to North Telangana areas of Karimanagar, Mahabubnagar and Nizamabad, even pilgrim places like Vemulawada and facilitate transport of commercial crops through inter-city trains,” explains SCR General Manager Gajanan Mallya.
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