Indian Railways` global projects: IRCON to upgrade rail line in Sri Lanka; DPR finalised for Indo-Nepal venture
After upgradation of this rail line, Jaffna bound trains will reportedly be able to travel at 120 kmph, providing safe, efficient and comfortable transportation to passengers in the Northern Province.
Indian Railways` engineering and construction firm IRCON International Limited has reached an agreement with the Sri Lankan government to upgrade around 130 km-long Maho-Omanthai rail line which is over 100 years old. The railway line is being upgraded under Indian concessional financing, and this is the first time that the track is being upgraded in 100 years. The contract agreement, worth $91.26 million, was signed in Colombo on Thursday, said an IANS report.
IRCON Chairman Sunil Kumar Choudhury and LP Jayampathy, Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka, signed the agreement in the presence of Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka. The upgradation will include modification of 12 crossing stations, seven halt stations and 78 level crossings.
Addressing the gathering in Colombo, Ranatunga said that at present, trains are running with speed restrictions of 40 kmph on this section. The travel time too between Maho and Omanthai is about three hours with a maximum sanctioned speed of 60 kmph.
After upgradation of this rail line, Jaffna bound trains will reportedly be able to travel at 120 kmph, providing safe, efficient and comfortable transportation to passengers in the Northern Province. It will also improve the travel comfort of passengers, and further contribute to the modernization Sri Lanka Railways, an official statement from the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.
So far, India has committed Lines of Credit worth around $1.3 billion for development of the railway sector in Sri Lanka. Under Indian concessional financing, the restoration of arterial railway lines, connecting the North and the South after decades of conflict, has been undertaken.
The tsunami-affected Southern Railway line was also upgraded under Indian Line of Credit. India has so far upgraded around 300 km of railway track and provided modern signalling and telecommunication system for around 330 km in Sri Lanka.
Previously, IRCON has completed the upgradation of the 114-km Colombo-Matara coastal railway line under Indian line of credit, reconstruction of the Medawachchiya to Madhu Road Railway Line in Northern Province and restoration of Northern Railway line from Omanthai to Jaffna.
In June 2017, India signed a fresh Line of Credit Agreement for $318 million for the development of the railway sector in Sri Lanka. Under this Line of Credit, other projects that are underway include procurement of 160 passenger coaches; upgradation of signal and telecommunication system from Maho to Anuradhapura; and setting up of a Railway Workshop in Rathmalana.
DPR of Indo-Nepal railway line finalised
The Nepal government is gearing up to start the process of land acquisition for the proposed cross-border railway line project between India's Rupaidiya and Kohalpur in Banke, after receiving the detailed project report (DPR), said Himalayan Times. The 18.5-km railway track will start from Rupaidiya Railway station in eastern Uttar Pradesh and pass through Jayaspur, Indrapur, Guruwa Gaun, Hawaldalpur, Rajhena to end in Kohalpur in Nepal.
As per the DPR submitted to Banke District Administration, the proposed railway track will run parallel and between the East-West Highway and the Postal Highway. The Nepal government aims to develop 4,000-km railway network in two decades.