BHUBANESWAR: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) on Saturday conducted trial run of an engine on newly built track from Nayagarh Town to Mahipur (12 km) in the ongoing Khurda Road-Balangir (289-km) railway line project.
After this trial run, the commissioner railway safety (CRS) will certify the rail section to allow ECoR to run trains. The CRS will inspect the 12-km-long broad gauge line on July 25, said ECoR chief spokesperson JP Mishra.
The zonal railway appealed to the public of the nearby areas between Nayagarh Town and Mahipur that they must remain alert and stay away from track as trial runs of engine have already been started. It urged them to keep their cattle or other animals away from the vicinity of track to prevent any untoward incident or mishap.
The ECoR is constructing the Khurda Road-Balangir new line from both ends for early completion of the project. It has commissioned about 80 km of rail line of the project that is 65.45 km from Khurda Road to Nayagarh Town and 14.58 km from Balangir to Bichhupalli. With this new section, the total completed lines will touch 92km.
A total of Rs 956 crore has been spent so far for construction work of this important project. ECoR is commissioning the rail sections in phased manner and run trains. Last section was Balangir to Bichhupalli. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off a train in the section on January 15.
The project was sanctioned in 1994-95, but the construction work is not gathering pace due to land acquisition and other bottlenecks. The state government has formed a joint venture with the Ministry of Railways to carry out the project. It has set a target to complete the project by May 2021.