Monday 22 July 2019

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Infrastructure | Railways

North-South meet not before '98 ?

 

The Konkan railway entered Goa on June 1 from southwards, till its border taluka of Canacona, joining 125 km long line from Kundapur. But passing it through Goa and joining it to Sawantwadi, the northern taluka of Maharashtra, may not be possible till the year end.

During his Goa visit last week to inaugurate a flyover built by the Konkan Railway Corporation in Margao in record time, Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan announced yet another deadline of August 15 to commission the whole 760 km-long line from Mumbai to Mangalore.


Though he blames the KRC officials for misguiding him every time, as Paswan had assured in January to commission the line by May end, it appears that backfiring even the new deadline is inevitable.

The bone of contention is not laxity or deliberate delay, but the two tunnels at Old Goa and Pernem (Goa's north border) found with soft soil. The sinking embankments at Cortalim, on the banks of the Zuari river, is also a problem to be tackled during monsoons.

Beyond Old Goa station and Sawantwadi station on Maharashtra's northern border lie the two problematic tunnels, out of which Old Goa is expected to be completed by July. The railway, as Paswan announced, may also start running till Pernem by August 15, subject to Cortalim embankments.

But a small stretch from Pernem station to Sawantwadi is a pain in the neck of the KRC officials. Around 200 mts of digging still remains at the rate of one metre of work per day. Discarding the old strategy of heading from top, the KRC is now going for blasting in order to increase the pace of work, said the officials.

Paswan plans to bring it upto Margao, Goa's south district town, by June 10, stretching the line 33 kms more. He plans to bring it till Old Goa by the month end. But sources in the KRC state that it cannot reach Old Goa, around 20 kms from Margao, before September.

Commissioning the line upto Pernem station will facilitate to run a rail car within Goa and from Goa to Mangalore and Sawantwadi to Mumbai. But commissioning the whole 760 km route, joining Mumbai to Cochi, will be inevitably postponed.






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