Nagpur : In a development that holds promise of transforming backward region of Yavatmal district, work of laying railway track in 40 kms patch upto Kalamb town of Wardha-Nanded stretch is likely to start from May 2019. With this development by Central Railway, the project that saw many ups and down is finally set to make up the lost time. And when the route opens for railway travel, travel time between Nagpur-Mumbai will get reduced drastically. Another significance of the new line will be that it will provide direct rail connectivity to Marathwada and also opens up new vistas of development in Vidarbha.
Currently all tenders for the project are floated for the works on Wardha-Yavatmal section a distance of 77 kms is entrusted to Construction Organisation of Central Railway. Similarly, construction of Yavatmal-Nanded section a distance of 207 kms is allocated to Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a PSU of Indian Railways.
In the Wardha-Kalamb section, earthwork is almost complete, barring some portion where there is infringement of High Tension and Low Tension lines, stated H L Kawre, Deputy Chief Engineer (Const.).
Most of major bridges in the section too are completed and work has gathered much space in last two to three years due to substantially high allocation of funds for construction of new line. Two major bridges on Yashoda river and Bhindi have been completed along with 26 minor bridges, including four railway under bridge (RuB). Around 50 crossings lie on the Wardha-Nanded route and as per new policy there would no road across the tracks and hence RuB are provided at those points.
Maharashtra Government is sharing 40 per cent cost of project that has been given Special Status, the work is now in full swing with track work expected to start during the summer. Land acquisition for the project is nearly 95 per cent complete and 2013 Land Acquisition Act helped in swaying the people’s decision, it provided lucrative rates of 4.5 times the ready reckoner rates.
Tunnel: A 2.5 kms tunnel would in place while reaching the Yavatmal for which the railways would need to drill through a hillock. Kawre said the hillock at back of the airport at Yavatmal poses one big challenge and this major work is planned in second installment, the first being completing section till Kalamb. In all there will be six tunnels totalling 9.8 kms in 284 kms section from Wardha to Nanded.
From Wardha to Kalamb there would be two stations, Deoli crossing station and Bhindi halt station while ahead till Yavatmal one more halt station would be Talegaon. The contracts for stations buildings too have been awarded and work is expected to start very soon.
Wardha-Nanded railway line would criss cross through 90 villages in Wardha, Yavatmal, Washim, Hingoli of six tehsils in Yavatmal and Nanded district. The project was sanctioned by then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav sometimes in 2008-09. For long nothing moved on the new project but now with substantial funds available through extra budgetary resources (EBR) the construction work is in full swing. The latest revised cost of 284 km new line project is pegged at Rs. 3168.29 crores.
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