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6 new rail lines for WB, 3 for other states
New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS):
Published on 25 Feb. 2010 12:14 AM IST
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Six new rail lines for West Bengal were amongst the total nine announced by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the railway budget for 2010-2011. The six new lines for West Bengal are Tarakeshwar-Magra, Hasanabad-Hingalganj, Balurghat-Hilli, Kaliyaganj-Buniadpur, Bowaichandi-Arambagh and the Digha-Jaleshwar rail line. The other three new lines are Bagalkot-Kudachi in Karnataka, Rishikesh-Karnaprayag in Uttarakhand and Bhadrachalam Road-Sattupalli in Andhra Pradesh. In addition, work is going on in at least 12 new rail lines. These include Tarakeshwar-Champadanga, Arambagh-Irphala, Tarakeshwar-Dhaniakhali, New Mal-Maynaguri Road, Dankuni-Furfurasharif and seven others. Meanwhile, no fare hike, new services, a world class station, proposed concessions for Marathi film technicians - Mumbaikars are grinning from ear to ear over Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s generosity towards the city in this year’s railway budget. The biggest cheer was for the proposal refraining from hiking passenger ticket fares and reducing service charges on bookings of various categories of long distance trains. These include the reduction in service charge from Rs.15 to Rs.10 for sleeper class and from Rs.40 to Rs.20 for AC class tickets. The second biggest attraction was the announcement to carry out a survey to provide a railway link between Churchgate on Western Railway and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on Central Railway - a distance of just 1.2 km, but extremely critical from the viewpoint of Mumbai’s daily 7.5 million commuters. The link, if and when constructed, would prove to be a boon for people living on the eastern and western corridors, reduce the travel time for crossing over from one corridor to the other and also knock down a psychological barrier that divides the island city. This is followed by the augmentation of services on the suburban section - a total of 101. These would include 16 services on the main suburban section of Central Railway, 32 services on the Central Railway Thane-Kalyan to Kasara/Karjat/Khopoli sector, 35 services on the Trans-Harbour Line and 18 on the Harbour Line. Banerjee also announced that work on the ongoing Mumbai Urban Transport Project-(MUTP) Phase I will be completed by end-2010, while work on the MUTP-Phase II will be targeted for completion by March 2014.

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