Bhubaneswar: East Coast Railway (ECoR) will soon commission the 13 km Mahipur-Nuagaon section of the new Khurda Road-Balangir railway line project. The Railway Safety Commissioner (SCR) completed inspection of this section in March.
Authorization from the CRS is required for the circulation of trains in this section. A light engine also ran between Mahipur and Nuagaon Road stations to measure the feasibility of rail traffic during the CRS survey. Rail services will be extended from Mahipur to Nuagaon Road after the section is commissioned. There are plans to run a new train from Nuagaon to Puri.
The section was due to be opened to rail traffic on Monday by the Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw, but the program was postponed at the last moment. Vaishnaw will only attend a Yoga Day celebration at Konark Sun Temple on Tuesday during his visit to the state.
ECoR is laying railway tracks at both ends of this project. Although the new Khurda Road-Balangir line was initially 289 km long, its distance is now 301 km in the final design. So far, ECoR has commissioned about 77 km of the line on the Khurda Road side and about 16 km on the Balangir side. After the commissioning of the Mahipur-Nuagaon section, it will touch 90.4 km from the Khurda end.
The project was sanctioned in 1995. But only about a third of its total length was commissioned. The last railway section (about 12 km) of the project was commissioned between Nayagarh city and Mahipur on December 26, 2019. The project deadline has changed several times. According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the state government and the Center in 2016, the completion date of the project was May 2021. But now, the latest deadline is December 2024.