INDIA: Visiting the eastern state of Odisha on January 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inaugurated the recently-completed electrification of two lines totalling 813 route-km.
Undertaken at a cost of Rs10·9bn, the 25 kV 50 Hz wiring programme covered the north-south corridor connecting Jharsuguda to Vizianagaram via Sambalpur, Titlagarh and Singapuram, plus the east-west line from Sambalpur to Angul, which connects with the already-electrified Paradeep – Talcher heavy haul line.
With work underway on double-tracking the 181·5 km Titlagarh – Sambalpur section of the north-south corridor, Modi commissioned second tracks on the 14·2 km Barpali – Dungaripali and 17·3 km Balangir – Deogaon sections, which have been completed at a cost of Rs1·9bn.
The Prime Minister also formally opened a 15 km section of new railway between Balangir and Bichhupali. Built at a cost of Rs11·5bn, this is the westernmost section of a 289 km corridor connecting the Titlagarh – Sambalpur route at Balangir with the East Coast Railway main line at Khurda Road. The east-west line through Sonepur, Boudh, Puranakatak, Daspalla and Nayagarh is intended to facilitate economic development along the Malianadi River valley and open up mineral reserves in the central part of the state.
During his visit, Modi dedicated a new multimodal logistics park at Jharsuguda, which is intended to handle both import/export and domestic freight traffic. The 11 ha site lies adjacent to the Kolkata – Mumbai main line, about 5 km from Jharsuguda, and is expected to serve the local cement, paper and aluminium industries.