CHHATRAPATI SAMBHAJINAGAR: The rail budget this year has announced a second line between Ankai and Aurangabad stations at a cost of Rs 960.64 crore.
It has also mentioned funding for as many as five bypass lines to decongest rail traffic on some of the busy routes, including the Aurangabad-Manmad section.
While budgetary allocation has been made for some of the ongoing and earlier proposed rail projects, including the Ahmednagar-Beed-Parli rail route, within the jurisdiction of the South Central Railway (SCR) and the Central Railway (CR), no announcement of any new train has dismayed activists.
As per the official release, the doubling project between Aurangabad-Ankai will be carried out on 98.25 km route. The railway budget has also announced a fund flow of Rs 100 crore for similar work on Parli-Parbhani stations in Marathwada on 64.71 km. The project was sanctioned last year for 64.71 km, with a sanctioned cost of Rs 769.93 crore.
The rail budget mentioned bypass lines involving Ankai, Parli, Latur, Mudkhed and Purna stations catering to Marathwada, taking off the traffic load from busy routes.
Railway activist Raj Somani said that the railway ministry should have paid attention to long-pending rail routes on Aurangabad-Ahmednagar-Pune, Aurangabad-Chalisgaon and Kopargaon-Rotegaon sections.
“It is disappointing that the budget has offered no new train for Marathwada. The announcement of bypass lines is the only major takeaway for Marathwada. Such a line, especially at Ankai, will help trains going towards Shirdi and Pune,” he said.
Another railway activist Anant Borkar said said that the final budget to be tabled later is expected to fulfil some of the pending demands of passengers from Marathwada. “Thebudget has offered something to cheer about. The fund flow for doubling on Ankai-Aurangabad route and funding for old projects will help to a certain extent in strengthening the rail network,” he added.
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