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Nizamabad-Manoharabad gauge works get fillip

By Our Staff Reporter

NIZAMABAD, APRIL 28. The long pending Nizamabad-Manoharabad gauge conversion works are expected to get a big fillip after a sum of Rs. 40 crores was allocated during the vote-on-account budget.

Official sources have confirmed that Rs. 40 crores has been earmarked for the gauge works on this crucial section which has been pending for several years. It has taken almost six years for the railway authorities to take up the Mudkhed-Nizamabad-Bollarum gauge works in phased manner. The first phase saw the Mudkhed-Dharmabad section getting opened for the BG traffic. After a series of agitation and protest rallies, the authorities released minimum funds to complete the Dharmabad-Nizamabad section last year. Once this section was thrown open to passenger traffic, a direct link to Mumbai and other northern States was created. Despite the introduction of some trains towards Mumbai and other cities, the major demand of the people of this district to have a direct link to Hyderabad had not been fulfilled. The gauge works between Nizamabad-Manoharabad has come to a standstill since last few months. The South Central Railway authorities as part of extension of the Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) completed the gauge works between Bollarum and Manoharabad. Still 120 kms stretch between Nizamabad and Manoharabad is to be completed costing about Rs. 100 crores. A total of Rs. 75 crores has been released in the last six years for the said works. However, the allocation of Rs. 40 crores in the vote-on-account budget is likely to ensure that the SCR authorities would take up the Manoharabad-Kamareddy section. According to sources, the officials in all likely would take up the works in May or June complete the same latest by August or September. The authorities are likely to close the traffic between Kamareddy and Manoharabad to enable completion of the works. This would leave 55-km distance between Nizamabad and Kamareddy pending. The Nizamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Rajeev Puri, speaking to The Hindu , said that once the Manoharabad-Nizamabad section is completed, an alternative route for Gujarat and other States would be created. All trains bound for Gujarat could go via Nizamabad thus reducing the travel time. He said the authorities should expedite the works between Nizamabad and Manoharabad and throw open the entire line for BG traffic at least by next year. He pointed out that the economy of the district would improve tremendously.

Referring to the farm produce arrivals at the Nizamabad market yard, Mr. Rajeev Puri, said once the Karimangar-Peddapalli line was thrown open to goods traffic, the arrival of maize dropped drastically. The Nizamabad marketyard used to get 14 lakh quintals of maize every year but once the Karimnagar line was opened the arrival dropped to 7 lakh quintals. The traders in Nizamabad suffered a loss of Rs. 30 crores. The maize arrivals from Metpalli, Jagtial and Korutla towns were diverted to Karimnagar district which was a big blow. He said that SCR authorities should also pay attention to the pending Purna-Khandwa gauge works. If this section covering a distance of 225 kms is completed, a new corridor connecting north to south would be created. He said the SCR officials should take note of the urgency of the works and complete it at the earliest.

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