Railway minister: High speed corridors soon
Armed with detailed reports on nine semi-high speed rail corridors, railway minister Suresh Prabhu is likely to unveil a roadmap to speed up their execution soon. The Railways had given the job of conducting a feasibility study on the challenging Mysore-Bengaluru-Chennai semi-high speed corridor to a Chinese state firm, Eryuann, which will do the work at its own cost. A detailed report, including on costing, has been given to the minister, who has to ensure the allocation of funds in the coming Rail Budget, in which he may also give a timeline to complete the nine semi-high speed corridors (160-200 kmph).
Sources said that after the Delhi-Agra semi-high speed corridor, that is awaiting the sanction of the Commission on Railway Safety, the next routes that will be completed are the Delhi-Chandigarh and Nagpur-Secunderabad. This is good news for Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who represents Nagpur, as the Nagpur-Secunderabad route was found the most easy and cost-effective to execute. After that, the Nagpur-Bilaspur semi-high speed corridor might also be taken up at the earliest, the sources said.
“The zonal report has stated that the Mysore-Bengaluru-Chennai semi-high speed corridor is most challenging and cost intensive from the engineering point of view. The route is full of curves, which make the train pilots to slow down the speed. The topography and the route alignment demand a thorough study and the Chinese firm Eryuann has agreed to do it at no cost for the railways,” sources said.
While the railways may rope in a foreign partner for detailed studies in a few more corridors, the railways will be undertaking in-house studies on other corridors. “Detailed Project reports on corridors, which can be taken in the immediate future will be prepared soon, after which the work will begin,” sources said. The internal report of the zonal railways focussed on topography and financial cost on the nine corridors, which were announced in the Rail Budget.