Railway Board slashes ‘unrealistic’ targets for SWR zone

The zone has now been mandated with laying 189 km of doubling lines and 49 km of new lines for the present fiscal. 
Representational Image.
Representational Image.

BENGALURU: The Railway Board slashed infrastructure targets for South Western Railway (SWR) Zone, proposed last month by more than 50 per cent employees after top officials made it clear that the targets proposed were unrealistic to meet.

The zone has now been mandated with laying 189 km of doubling lines and 49 km of new lines for the present fiscal. 

The new lines include 19 km of railway lines being laid at the Baiyappanahalli coaching terminal. The board, in a marathon meeting on April 17, chaired by the Railway Minister and top Board officials, proposed 349 km of doubling lines and 107 km of new lines for SWR.

Doubling of tracks will ensure more trains will run. More importantly, punctuality of the existing trains will improve as in the case of single lines. Trains need to wait at crossing lines for approaching trains to pass through.

Speaking to The New Indian Express, Chief Administration Officer (Constructions) of SWR KC Swami said, “We made it clear that the targets proposed for the zone earlier are highly unrealistic and a reasonable target is required. The board has considered our request and has set us new targets recently.”

Asked about the reasons why it was impossible to ramp up its doubling work, Swami said, “If it is just the laying of tracks, it is possible. Doubling also involves works like non-interlocking, placing of sleepers and welding of rail which need to be carried out only by specialised RDSO authorised centres. Acquiring land for laying the lines is a time-consuming process.”  

New lines will come up in the following sections- 28 km of tracks along the Gangavathi-Karatagi section of Ginigera-Raichur new line; 12 km of new line in Phase-I of Baiyappanahalli coaching terminal and 9 km in its Phase-II.

The new doubling sections proposed are: Lachyan-Hotgi (33 km); Doddaballapura-Makalidurga (15 km), Harihar-Devargudda (31 km) and Karadi-Ammasandra (17 km). In addition to it, the sections to be carried over from the previous year are: Tumakuru-Gubbi (18 km); Davangere-Harihar (13 km); Ghataprabha-Chikkodi (15 km); Mulvad-Jammal (13 km); Yelahanka-Doddaballapura (21 km), Tolahunase-Davangere (10 km).   

The targets set for its commercial earnings and passenger occupancy are nominal, another top official said.

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