Goa’s SWR Route to be ready by March 2021

The South Western Railway (SWR) has set March 2021 as the tentative target to make the Margaon-Sanvordem double-tracked route operational. Once accomplished, the partial Goa stretch will be the first to be made functional. It is part of the ongoing Hospet-Hubli-Tinaighat-Vasco doubling project.

Rail Vikas Nikas Ltd GM Sashibhushan Sahoo told that the trial run of the route will be conducted by March this year. “We have completed over 75% of double-tracking on the Margao-Sanvordem stretch. We are awaiting a clearance from the National Wildlife Board to start work on the Castle Rock-Collem stretch. While we are aiming to operationalise the Margao-Sanvordem route by March 2021, the Sanvordem-Kalay stretch is likely to be completed by June-December 2021,” Sahoo said.

South Goa collector Ajit Roy on Thursday held a review meeting with senior officials of the district administration over SWR’s double-tracking project, particularly with regard to opposition to land acquisition by the locals between the Majorda and Vasco railway stations. “There are some bottlenecks in this stretch and we are working things out,” Roy said.

“A notice inviting tenders has been issued for the 17-km Majorda-Vasco stretch,” Sahoo said. “We have fixed three-year time frame to complete this stretch.”

Signalling its intent to fast-track the project, the railways ministry has notified the Hospet-Hubli-Tinaigat-Vasco doubling project in Goa as the ‘special railway project’ which, Sahoo said, would facilitate the Indian Railways to acquire land under the Railways Act, 1989 in areas where the state government has failed to do so. The ministry has also notified road over-bridge (ROB) projects at Xelvon, Nessai and Cansaulim as special railway projects.

Under the Railways Act, a special project refers to one notified by the central government “for providing national infrastructure for a public purpose in a specified time frame”. The notification will come into effect from the date it is published in the Gazette.