The broad gauge line connecting Ahmedabad and Udaipur is likely to be ready by mid-2021. Notably, the crucial project so far has missed several deadlines due to multiple factors.
In the first phase, Ahmedabad-Himmatnagar broad gauge work has been completed and even trains were operated on this route. Recently track laying work was completed on the Himmatnagar-Dungarpur route. As of now, trial runs of trains are underway on this route. Later, railway officials will prepare a final report, after which the Himmatnagar-Dungarpur route will be made operational.
Track laying work on the Dungarpur-Udaipur route is also underway and likely to be completed by April 2021.
Himmatnagar-Dungarpur route will have railway stations such as Dungarpur, Bichchiwadi, Lusawadi, Sanaji Road, Raygadh Road, Virawada, Salathana, Shri Bharnath, Jagabor and Suno. Rail connectivity between Ahmedabad-Himmatnagar and subsequently, Himmatnagar to Dungarpur and then to Udaipur will give a boost to the backward areas through better rail transportation.
Work done at snail’s pace
The gauge conversion work of the Udaipur-Himmatnagar-Ahmedabad rail line is being done at a snail’s pace.
A total of 155 road over bridges (ROBs) and road under bridges (RUBs) are being constructed under the Ahmedabad- Himmatnagar-Udaipur gauge conversion project. An expenditure of Rs 171 crore (approx.) has been incurred on these bridges so far. It is learnt that a large number of bridges delayed the project.
Out of 155 bridges, 52 bridges fall under the Himmatnagar section of Gujarat, while 70 ROBs and road under bridges (RUBs) fall under the Udaipur section connecting various villages.
Gauge conversion project started in 2014
The gauge conversion of the 300 km Udaipur-Himmatnagar-Ahmedabad section was taken up in 2014 at an estimated cost of Rs 2,135 crore under which the work is being done. The project was taken up in phases under which blanketing and earthwork were undertaken.
Before the gauge conversion, Udaipur city and Ahmedabad were connected with a meter gauge railway line (299.20 km-long). Most of the railway lines connecting these two cities with other cities of the country have already been converted into broad gauge railway lines and remaining meter gauge lines are also being converted into broad gauge under the “Uni-gauge Policy of Indian Railways”.
Due to the non-availability of a broad gauge line between Udaipur and Ahmedabad, the passenger traffic and goods traffic coming from other places of the country involved trans-shipment at Udaipur/ Ahmedabad which resulted in inconvenience, delay and unnecessary expenditure.
Both these cities are important from a business and tourist point of view. The stretch between the two cities connects many important places of Rajasthan and Gujarat states, such as Zawar Mines, Jaisamand, Rikhabdev, Dungarpur, Shamlaji, Himmatnagar, etc. The railway line is also serving tribal areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat states. When there was a meter gauge, the trains would run at a speed of 45 kmph, but after the gauge conversions, it will be around 100 km per hour.
After completion of this broad gauge work this year, these two important cities will facilitate the travelling of passengers from either side without changing train at these stations in much lesser time and with greater comfort.
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