Ara Fathua Rail Line is the need of the hour

PATNA: The proposed third line between Fatuha and Ara in Danapur division under East Central Railway (ECR) is the need of the hour as traffic on the mainline route between Mughalsarai and Jhajha has already reached saturation of about 160 and 170% causing detention of long-distance mail and express trains. However, this project does not seem to be a priority for the railways now.

According to sources, Danapur division has, of late, witnessed an astronomical increase in the number of passenger trains. About 280 passenger trains and 40 goods trains run daily through the division. Thus a third line is a must to streamline the movement of both long-distance and local passenger trains either passing or originating from the division, sources said

Among all divisions of the ECR, Danapur division has become the most crowded. Keeping in mind the daily run of Patna-New Delhi Rajdhani Express and other Rajdhani Express trains, the division has to provide clear path for these prestigious trains. Besides, popular trains like Sampoorna Kranti Express, Garib Rath, Shramjeevi Express, Magadh Express, Vikramshila Express and Poorva Express have been running on the mainline section of the division daily, sources said.

Several long-distance trains like Patna-Ajmer, Patna-Jammu Tavi, Patna-Indore, Patna-Vasco-de-Gama, Patna-Mumbai, Patna-Bangalore, Patna-Chennai, Patna-Ernakulam and many others have been introduced on the mainline route during the past five years. Yet, the required infrastructure has not been provided in the division. Needless to say, railways does not have sufficient number of washing pits for the maintenance of rakes, sources said.

An ECR official admitted that a survey had been carried out for laying the third line between Ara and Fatuha. Railways will have to incur an expenditure of about Rs 1.5 crore per km to lay this third line. The total distance between the two stations would hardly be about 60km to 70km. Thus, total expenditure on the project wouldn’t be very high route. However, he said, railways doesn’t have any plan to build the third line.

It may be recalled that the Danapur division has been a passenger-oriented one since British period. Though the number of trains has increased manifold, railways has not been able to provide requisite infrastructure in the division. Local commuters are forced to travel in mail and express trains from Buxar, Ara, Mokama and other stations located on the mainline route. It also sometimes causes law and order problem for railways as these commuters forcibly stop trains by alarm chain pulling, sources said.