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Good news for the railway commuters on Kiul-Sabhebganj loop section of Eastern railways! Running late trains on one of this oldest section in the country now could be controlled with new action plan by the railways which was on pipeline but yet not executed mainly due to some official formalities.
Opening of another tunnel at Kali Pahari, the extension of Kharaghpur hill range, railway is all set to set aside all the hurdles in maintaining smooth traffic on of the century old Kiul-Sahebganj loop section. With no objection certificate (NOC) from the union ministry of environment and forest, railway has managed green signal for the work of second tunnel in the picturesque site located besides the existing Bariakol tunnel near Jamalpur railway station falling under Munger district.
According to railway sources, the work which was in the pipeline, now expected to start soon as the union ministry of environment and forest has given clearance of the project. The project with estimated cost of Rs 35 crore would be completed within two months. The sources said that the tender for the construction has been completed and Dhanbad (Jharkhand) based CNFR company has been awarded with the tender for blasting in Kalipahari hills for making the tunnel. The same company recently demolished one old rail over bridge No 127 near Kahalgaon railway station on this section on December 3.
The sources further said that through the formalities of the tender has been completed but work order which yet not be given, expected soon.
Earlier in 1850 the than East India railway company had constructed the existing Bariacoal tunnel in another part of Kali Pahari through which Kiul-Sahabganj loop section has been operating. The tunnel was constructed under the supervision of Robert Stiffens, the MD of the company, who happened to be the son of George Stiffens, who invaded steam engine. F W Simence was chief engineer of the project and it was first among the 4 oldest railway tunnels in the country constructed by the British.
Bariacoal tunnel located in between Jamalpur and Ratanpur stations on this section, has been functining for the last 165 years but due to increase of traffic on this section, railway has been trying for expend works like double tracks. “From Kiul to Bhagalpur double tracks had started functioned in nineties whereas double tracks recently started from Pirpainty to Sahebganj. Works has started on the remaining parts, ie from Pirpainty to Bhagalpur. But due to single track passing through Bariacoal tunnel, movements of trains on this section get effected. We have to stop trains either at Ratnapur or Jamalpur station for passing a train through this tunnel. So option of another tunnel is very essential but due to delay in obtaining NOC from forest department, this projects was laying idle for the last 3-4 years,” said a top ranking sources from Eastern railways under which jurisdiction the areas are falling.
Sources from CNFR company said that the location of the second new tunnel would be some 25 meter south of present Bariacoal tunnel towards diesel shade of Jamlapur railway workshop. It would be 275 meter length having 7 meter height and diameter of 8 meter approximately. It will be done with latest technology. “We have to be very careful during explosion for caving the new tunnel in the hills while keeping in view that there should not be any effect on the existing tunnel” the sources pointed out. It further said that all the ground works related to extensive survey of the existing tunnel, the possible impact of caving of another tunnel in the hills on it and other technical aspects have been completed with railways’ technical team.
“We managed to obtain NOC from forest department which was one of the main hurdle in the project. Tender process also already completed now after work order, work would be started,” said Jitendra Kumar, deputy chief engineer, Jamlapur. Chief public relation officer (CPRO), Eastern railway, Ravi Mahapatra said that with opening of the new tunnel on this section, many problems will automatically come to an end. According to him the proposed electrification of tracks would completed smoothly on this section resulting more options of running more trains and maintenances of schedules would be on cards with the new tunnel.
“Due to caution in between Jamalpur and Ratanpur stations, maintaining of the time schedule for the trains on this section is a herculean task. Besides, a single error of signaling could result to a major mishap always. The proposed tunnel would automatically counter all such problems and would smooth the running of trains on this section,” said a top ranking railway officer.