43rd meeting of the Network Planning Group (NPG) held; NPG examines and recommends 3 important railway projects

Network Planning Group constituted under the institutional framework of PM GatiShakti National Master Plan’ has examined and recommended 3 important railway projects.

Chaired by the Special Secretary of DPIIT, NPG has the head of Planning Divisions of the infrastructure Ministries including M/o Railways, MoRTH, Power, MoPNG, MIRE, DoT, MoCA, MoPSW with special representative from NITI Aayog and MoEF&CC.

Doubling between Aurangabad and Ankai stations:

The NPG examined the project related to doubling of railway lines between Aurangabad and Ankai in the State of Maharashtra. This will provide an alternate route to reach to the long destinations like Mumbai, New Delhi, Amritsar from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Nizamabad etc.

The proposed project increase will increase section capacity from 114% to 143% and improve Goods and Passenger traffic on this single line. This doubling can also cater to the potential freight traffic movement from the nearly industrial clusters as it falls on the Aravali Dakshin Sampark Corridor. This will provide a modal mix to both passenger and freight while also connecting 38 Villages of a total population of 98 lakhs and industrial areas of Daulatabad, Aurangabad and Jalna.

3rd line in balance section between Bhadrak -Vizianagaram:

To improve cargo movement between the Western Coast and Southern Coast of India, the NPG examined the project on addition of 3rd line in the balance section between Bhadrak and Vizianagaram in the States of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. As this region acts as backbone infrastructure for the ports on the eastern coast, the proposed railway line connects three non-major ports which are Gopalpur, Damra and the upcoming Bhavnapadu, and two major ports including Paradip and Vishakapatnam.

The project will also directly facilitate movement to goods sheds at Khurda, Jagannathpur, and Srikakulam which are points of multi-modal logistics, and also shift the major road cargo movement to rail. The proposed project will decongest the stretch on the section of Howrah-Chennai railway route and enhance the modal share of railways as this stretch is dedicated to freight movement.

Sonnagar – Andal 3rd and 4th Railway line:

To ensure improved wagon turnaround time and better punctuality of passenger trains, the NPG evaluated the project to add 3rd and 4th Railway lines in the Sonnagar Andal route falling in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. This project is part of Mission 3000 MT plan of the Indian Railways and connect important districts such as Gaya, an emerging textile hub, Hazaribagh, a sea food cluster, Dhanbad, a district of coal reserves, and Pashchim Bardhaman, a district of immense potential for steel. After the completion of project, there will be an increase in average speed of trains from 33 kmph to 55 kmph in this section. The project will ensure overall improvement in logistics network of this section, improved economic activity in the region and decongest the highly saturated Delhi – Howrah railway route under the Golden Quadrilateral.

The Special Secretary underlined the importance of these high impact projects as they are crucial for port connectivity in the region. All 3 projects evaluated by the NPG and were recommended for implementation with certain suggestions to address last-mile connectivity and achieve the right multimodal logistics share.

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