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Punjab begins work on Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link

Functional Chandigarh-Morinda rail line to be electrified within 8 months

india Updated: Apr 05, 2007 21:09 IST

Finally, the Punjab government has started work on acquiring the land required for establishing direct railway link between Chandigarh and Ludhiana.

Also, the already functional Chandigarh-Morinda rail line would be electrified within eight months to run high speed electric trains, which could not be possible at present, Punjab Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh disclosed after presiding over a meeting of the Indian Railway officials in Chandigarh on Thursday.

The 45-km-long Chandigarh-Morinda railway line via SAS Nagar and Kharar was opened to rail traffic on September 27 last. Former Punjab Cabinet Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang flagged-off first Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) 8 coaches from Chandigarh railway station after Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had formally inaugurated the Rs 195 crore project with the remote pressing of signal system from Ludhiana.

Assuring the Railway authorities of handing them over the land required for constructing 51-km-long Morinda-Sahnewal railway line within one month, the Chief Secretary said the state government would soon begin proceedings to acquire the land falling in Rupnagar district under the Land Acquisition Act.

Chief Secretary disclosed that the Railway authorities have assured that after getting the required land, the railway line would be constructed within two-and-a-half-years to establish direct rail link of Chandigarh with Ludhiana.

He also assured the Railway officials that notification under the Land Acquisition Act for acquisition of land in Fategarh Sahib would be issued within 15 days.

Northern Railway Chief Engineer Vinay Singh explained the details of Rs 577 crore ambitious project

Presently, two passenger trains – Ambala Cantonment-Nangal Dam and Ambala Cantonment-Chararu Takrala – were running on the non-electrified Chandigarh-Morinda rail stretch, built at the cost of Rs 195 crore, on 196.55 hectare land, with 14 curves, 125 bridges, including 7 major and 100 minor, 17 road-under-bridges, a road-over-bridge and 11 level crossings between Kharar and Morinda.

Project report
To create direct rail link of Chandigarh with Ludhiana, Amritsar, Pathankot, Jalandhar and Ferozepur, a high-speed BG railway line was planned in 1997.
While first phase of 112.5-km-long Chandigarh-Ludhiana track till Morinda was commissioned last year, second and third phases of 67.5 km from Morinda to Ludhiana were yet to be commissioned.
While Rs 13.72 crore was initially sanctioned for electrification of Chandigarh-Morinda track, the revised estimate of Rs 46.86 crore for electrification of entire Chandigarh-Ludhiana section was submitted for sanction with Railway Board on July 10 last.

Now, after decade of planning, the work for electrification of Chandigarh-Morinda track and commissioning of Morinda-Ludhiana section has finally started.

First Published: Apr 05, 2007 21:05 IST