Delhi’s Ring railway may be revived soon. Northern Railways plans to run both freight and goods trains on tracks parallel to each other.
However, encroachments at certain sections of the circuit have been preventing the authorities from executing their ideas, officials said.
Under the present two-track system, 90 goods trains run along with just nine passenger ones. Railway officials plan to add two more tracks, which would run parallel to the existing system. The additional tracks could be used for more passenger trains.
“We have minimal passenger trains as it has not gained enough popularity. The two new tracks will run these trains and provide EMUs for suburban connectivity,” RN Singh, DRM (Delhi division) told, adding that encroachment next to the tracks are hampering these plans.
To remove the encroachments, Railways had paid Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) Rs 11.25 crores in 2003-04 for the relocation of 4,410 jhuggis. However, only 257 of them have been removed so far, a railway official said.
“We have requested the chief secretary of NCT Delhi for the expeditious removal of encroachment which are not only affecting the development of infrastructure, but also the maintenance activities and safety of railway operation. Certain sections also fall under the ring railway system that needs to get cleared for the tracks to be executed,” said Singh.
The ring railway system was constructed in 1975 and has 21 stations in a circular network of approximately 35km. The Railways had been conducting feasibility studies on the revival of the system that also identified pockets under the railways which can be used for commercial purposes. Officials said its utilisation could help make the system more financially viable and provide better facilities to people.
“We have plots in certain pockets which can be given for commercial use as well as shops. This will generate additional revenue and passengers who use suburban trains can also get better facilities,” Singh added.