Mangaluru, Feb 18, 2016: Speaking to media at the inaugural of the soft skills training programme for youth, Sanjay Gupta, chairman and managing director, Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL), said that the project for electrification of the Roha-Thokur railway line on Konkan Railway had already been sanctioned and the first phase electrification work of 330 kilometres from Thokur to Verna will commence soon.
KRCL Chairman Gupta said that on the Mangaluru end, the Southern Railway would be completing electrification up to Panambur. Hence electrification would have to begin from there as train locomotives would have to be changed.
The cost of electrification from Thokur to Roha had been estimated at Rs. 709 crore. It would take over three years to complete the electrification this 740 kilometre stretch. In the first phase only 330 kilometres of electrification would be done. The doubling of railway line from Roha to Thokur would take more time. The first phase of doubling work of the 47-kilometre railway line from Roha to Veer had begun in November last year at a cost of Rs. 300 crore.
In order to increase profits, the KRCL had already started the work of construction for siding for Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL). “This will give us new business and more revenue. It will take about a year and a half to complete,” said Mr. Gupta.
Replying to a query, he said that the KRCL had urged the Union Railways Ministry to extend the territory of Konkan Railway up to Ullal. It was initially envisaged that Konkan Railway would have its jurisdiction up to Ullal and that the New Mangalore Port would also be a part of Konkan Railway.
On incidents of thefts on Matsyagandha Express, Mr. Gupta said that Railway Protection Force (RPF) was in constant touch with the police of the states concerned. There were some gangs which kept moving around. The RPF were travelling in some of the trains to keep a vigil. “We should be able to control it,” he said.
He added that every year KRCL was recruiting people for various posts including train locomotive drivers. The Indian Railways as a whole required 15,000 to 20,000 locomotive train drivers annually. The net profit of KRCL in 2014-15 was Rs. 40 crore.