New Delhi: The government on Tuesday approved six projects at a cost of Rs11,661 crore for new lines as well as doubling and electrification of tracks, which would generate more than 200 lakh person days of employment in Uttar Pradesh and three other states, the Railways said. The projects would cover 881 km of lines in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved doubling and electrification projects of the 425 km-long Jhansi-Manikpur and Bhimsen-Khairar lines at a completion cost of Rs4,955.72 crore.
The projects are likely to be completed by 2022-23 and will cover the districts of Jhansi, Mahoba, Banda, Chitrakut Dham in Uttar Pradesh and Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh.
The CCEA also approved doubling with electrification of the 116.95 km-long Bhatni-Aurnihar line. The project, at a cost of Rs1,300.9 crore, is likely to be completed by 2021-22 and will cover the districts of Deoria, Ballia, Mau and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh.
Approval has also come for the doubling and electrification projects on the 100.6 km-long Muzaffarpur-Sagauli and 109.7 km-long Sagauli-Valmiki Nagar lines at completion costs of Rs1,347.61 crore and Rs1,381.49 crore respectively. These lines are in the districts of Muzaffarpur, East Champaran (Motihari) and West Champaran (Bettiah) in Bihar.
“Railways provides employment opportunities to lakhs of people. Doubling of railway lines, electrification, development and modernisation of the railways will generate employment of 211 lakh man days," railway minister Piyush Goyal told the media today.
The minister stated that the doubling of the Bhatni-Aurnihar line will not only decongest the route between Mugalsarai and Allahabad and provide better connectivity to Varanasi in UP, but also benefit passengers travelling to Eastern India, especially Bihar, West Bengal and North East.
The doubling and electrification of the Jhansi-Manikpur line, the minister said, will help promote Khajuraho in MP as an international tourist destination. The CCEA has also approved the new 130 km-long Jeypore-Malkangiri line project at a completion cost of Rs2,676.11 crore.
The first such railway line in Naxal-affected Malkangiri, the project is likely to be completed by 2021-22 and will cover the districts of Koraput and Malkangiri in Odisha. “Connecting Naxal-affected areas is our priority and for this we are starting the first rail project in Odisha’s Malkangiri. This will help in the development of the area," the minister said.
Malkangiri and Koraput districts are among the identified left wing extremism (LWE) affected districts in the country. These areas are also among the 115 aspirational districts identified by the PM for development to help achieve the government’s Vision of New India by 2022.