Insights on Railways endeavours to complete railway infrastructure projects in West Bengal

In an endeavour to make a developed and prosperous West Bengal, Indian Railways has given a big push to complete Railway infrastructure projects in the past eight years, i.e., 2014-2022.

More Details:

  • Average Budgetary outlay of Rs. 5081 Crore/Yr has been provided during period of 2014-22; which is 15% more in comparison to budget allocation of in previous period of 2009-14. The highest over outlay of Rs 10,262 Cr has been provided in FY 2022-23, which is a whopping 134% more in comparison to 2009-14 having an average budget outlay of Rs 4380 Crore.
  • In yet another magnificent development, West Bengal gets India’s first indigenously manufactured Semi High Speed Train Vande Bharat Express by the initiatives of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. Flagged off o­n 30 December 2022, Howrah – New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express connected the Northern and Southern part of West Bengal with a remarkable acceleration.
  • In the last eight years, the Railway has given a big push to complete Railway infrastructure projects. During the last eight years, 03 New Line Project; 03 Gauge conversions & twenty-eight Double line/Multiple line Projects have been commissioned till date; adding a total of 875 Km track to existing Infrastructure of West Bengal Railway Network; with a huge cost of Rs 8567 Crs.
  • Motivated by Hon’ble PM’s vision over last eight years, a massive total 998 kms (88 Km New Line + 151K km Gauge Conversion + 759 Km Double Line); track have been added to existing infrastructure; with an average of 124.75 Km/Year.
  • Moreover, o­ne New line covering 03 km & eleven Double line/Multiline Track projects covering 641 kms have been included during period 2014-22 to increase Bengal Railway network by leaps and bounds. The additional Infrastructures will, in turn, increase the sectional capacity manifold & improve the mobility of train operations to a great extent.
  • Now 53, New Line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling projects covering 4463 Km having an outlay of Rs.55174 Crores is continuing for the benefit of West Bengal.
  • Average doubling/tripling work has been increased during 2014-22 by 88% in comparison to 2009-14 and gauge conversion by 112%. Electrification is in sharp progress in West Bengal for setting up a green Railway. The average electrification in West Bengal recorded 260 track kilometres per year during 2014-22 in comparison to o­nly 142 track kilometres during 2009-14.
  • A total of 2080 track kilometres during 2014-22, recording a growth of electrification in West Bengal by 83%. In this connection it is pertinent to mention here that, the total 2858 km network of Eastern Railway is now completely electrified, thereby moving a big stride towards the Zero Carbon Emission target by 2030.
  • For ease of traffic movement yearly o­n an average five (5) Road Over Bridges were constructed during 2014-22 resulting in total number of ROBs increased to 137 in 2022 as compared to 97 in 2014. The number of road under bridges in West Bengal also increased substantially to 210 (upto 2022) compared to o­nly 70 (upto 2014).
  • Various other passenger amenities were also provided by Railways for the comfort of passengers in West Bengal during 2014-22. 144 foot over bridges, 73 lifts, 104 escalators, 272 toilets, 379 Divyangjan toilets, 15 new waiting rooms have been provided.
  • Besides, 256 new platforms/extension of platforms have been completed, circulating areas improved at 80 stations, CCTVs commissioned at 98 stations, Wi-Fi at 509 stations and 6 premium lounges are provided at 6 stations in West Bengal during the last eight years.
  • LED lights have also been commissioned at all stations in West Bengal for better illumination, solar modules having a capacity of 11.06 MWP have been provided at different stations, solar panels have been provided at 43 stations and 254 level crossing gates & 36 lakh tree saplings have planted during 2014-22 as a green initiative.
  • Chittaranjan Locomotive Works in West Bengal has reached a new high by producing 486 locomotives in 2021-22. Thus CLW becomes the largest electric loco producer in the world.

World Class Kolkata Metro Rail:

  • Kolkata Metro Railway has been progressing with a benchmark speed during the last 8 years. The first phase of the east West metro corridor from Salt Lake Sector 5 to Salt Lake Stadium was completed o­n February 13, 2020, at Phoolbagan, and the first underground station of the east West metro was completed o­n October 4, 2020.
  • Phoolbagan to Sealdah (2.33 Km) (E-W Corridor) was inaugurated o­n 11.07.2022. To cater the urban transport needs, Joka – Taratala 6.5 km section of Joka – Esplanade corridor of Metro Railway network has been inaugurated by Hon’ble PM o­n 30 December, 2022.
  • The extension of the metro railway’s north-south corridor to connect Noapara and Dakshineshwar is also another feather in Metro’s cap. A user-friendly o­nline Smart Card recharge facility and a Smart Card app have been launched for Metro commuters. Anyone who wants to recharge their smart cards can do so using debit or credit cards and o­nline payment methods.
  • Metro commuters can also recharge their smart cards from the comfort of their own homes using the smart card App. Integrated helpline numbers and a women’s helpline number have been made available throughout the metro network. Stainless steel chairs and sanitiser dispensing machines have been installed at various metro stations. There are separate bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes.
  • O­n December 1st, a pressure swing adsorption (PAS) oxygen generator plant capable of producing 250 litres of oxygen per minute was inaugurated at Tapan Sinha Memorial Hospital. 21 automatic smart card recharge machines have been installed at various metro stations and along the north-south corridor.
  • Automatic drinking water facilities and water crusher machines have been installed. West Metro, which opened its doors to passengers in February 2020, has introduced platform screen doors in Kolkata Metro for the first time for the safety of its commuters. It also optimises platform space by allowing more passengers to board during peak hours.
  • Wheelchairs now have a designated space inside East-West Metro coaches. For the comfort of Divyang people, tactiles in the concourse and platform areas, barrier-free movement, and special toilets have been provided.

Source: Eastern Railway- Press Release | Image Credit (representational): Eastern Railway