Work on doubling of railway track till Guwahati and Lumding will be completed by 2020, even as introduction of new trains in this region is not expected to happen till the doubling project is completed on account of overutilization of existing lines. Speaking to the media here today, Chairman of the Railway Board Ashwani Lohani said that electrification of railway track till Guwahati will also be completed within two years, while the Bogibeel Bridge is expected to be opened by June this year.
“Work on doubling is on. Doubling has been sanctioned till Lumding via Goalpara and work will be completed by 2020. Doubling work till Guwahati will also be completed by 2020,” he said.
Lohani added that capacity utilization of existing rail tracks in the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) zone is very high. The utilization rate is 160 per cent in the New Jalpaiguri-Guwahati section, 130 per cent in the Goalpara line and 150 per cent in the Guwahati-Lumding section.
As such, introduction of new trains to and from the North East is unlikely till doubling work is completed.
Lohani said that Indian Railways is carrying out projects worth Rs.58,000 crore in the region, including on electrification and doubling of rail tracks.
“Electrification of rail tracks will be carried out till Guwahati within two years,” he said.
He added that work on Bogibeel Bridge is nearing completion and it is expected to be inaugurated by June this year.
NFR’s project expenditure in the last fiscal was Rs 7,100 crore but it is expected to come down to around Rs 5,500 crore this year. The fall will be mostly on account of problems in Manipur where work on new projects was disrupted for around two months this fiscal due to agitations.
Lohani said that freight from NFR has fallen on account of NGT’s rules regarding mining of coal in this region.