The National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has given its appraisal note for the electrification of the Pune-Miraj-Kolhapur line. The NITI Aayog’s approval is for the single line, currently in place as well as for the second line that is proposed to be built between the two cities. At current prices, the cost of electrification of the two lines— totalling 692 kilometres of tracks – would be Rs 513 crore. The route, currently a single line, has got congested due to the increase in passenger footfall as well as goods traffic between the two cities and a second line is now an urgent requirement. A sum of Rs 1.27 crore had been allotted for the preliminary engineering and traffic survey for the second line. While Rs 27 lakhs has already been spent on the survey, this year’s railway budget allotted the remaining Rs 1 crore as well in order to complete the survey so that physical work on laying the line could begin. Electrification will allow the rail line to run goods trains with a total payload of 5,800 tons. This would be an increase of more than 50 per cent in payload, which in turn brings that much more revenue and also saves time. Time saved on a route will help to add trains.
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