|The South Central Railway (SCR) authorities have been gearing up to begin operations on the first stretch of the Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) Phase-II between Tellapur and Ramchandrapuram, of a distance of about six km. Originally, the railway line was to be opened by December 2017, but the officials say it would take another two months before the local trains could be operated.|
“We have completed the work as per the construction schedule, including laying a single track and electrification. The next step is to go for rail safety certification. We are expecting the Commissioner of Rail Safety and other regulatory authorities to complete inspections in the course of next two months,” said senior SCR officials, unwilling to be quoted.
The next railway line to be completed as part of the project would be Bolarum-Medchal (12.5 km), where the track-laying and electrification work is expected to be completed by this January 31. This stretch too would go in for statutory regulatory clearances once the civic work is completed in all aspects.
Then comes the Moula Ali-Ghatkesar line (12 km) where the ongoing doubling and electrification work is scheduled to be completed by March this year. The Falaknuma-Umdanagar (12 km) doubling and electrification work too is on and would be completed by December 2018.
However, the Sanatnagar-Moula Ali line (22 km) continues to be caught in the Defence tangle despite the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) intervention as the Army officials have not yet given the green signal for laying the railway track for about four km near Ammuguda.
“We have completed all the necessary formalities as sought by the defence officials concerned. We are awaiting their permission to go ahead with the work. We will be opening different lines for commercial operations this year for MMTS Phase-II in phases except the Sanatnagar-Moula Ali line,” explained the railway officials.
The proposed Shamshabad Airport Line from Umdanagar (6 km) too continues to be in limbo though the railway authorities say they are ready to take up work provided the airport authorities permit laying the ground railway line nearer to the passenger terminal rather than 3.5 km away from the site identified for the purpose.
There is some traction in the negotiations with the Telangana government for releasing its share of funds for the project considering it has promised to bear two-thirds cost, which has escalated to over ₹800 crore. The Indian Railways claims to have spent ₹450 crore already and ₹240 crore is due from the State as it has released only ₹40 crore till date.