The Network Planning Group (NPG) held its 41st session in New Delhi today. Chaired by the Special Secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the meeting saw the active participation of senior officials from key member ministries/departments including the DoT, MoEF&CC, M/o Railways, MoPSW, MoCA, M/o Power, Niti Aayog, MoRTH and MoPNG.
The meeting saw deliberations on the 4-lane Accessed Controlled Greenfield Highway as part of the Nagpur-Vijaywada corridor and new rail connectivity projects connecting Barejadi Nandej to Sanand in Gujarat and Barbil, Barsuan and Nayagrah in Odisha.
According to senior MoRTH officials, the 30-kilometer-long 4-lane Accessed Controlled Greenfield Highway will connect Mancherial and Vijaywada. The project proposed will improve connectivity to 21 economic nodes such as Mega Food Parks, Fishing Seafood Clusters, Pharma and Medical Clusters, SEZs, and Textile Clusters across the 11 districts and more than 27 social nodes across 3 states. The proposed alignment of the highway is also estimated to increase average speed from 40 kmph to 80 kmph, reduce travel time from 17 hours to 8 hours and create 11.9 crore employment opportunities after completion.
During the deliberations of the Barejadi Nandej to Sanand railway project, it was observed by the NPG that the Ahmedabad Station has been one of the busiest stations on the Western Railway Corridor for freight movement between the Viramgam-Sabaramati-Ahmedabad-Geratpur sections. Therefore to achieve overall operational efficiency, the construction of a 4th line connecting was felt essential. Senior officials from the M/o Railways shared that this 4th Line would feature two new stations in Barejadi Nandej to Sanand and detour all freight trains to this route while bypassing the Ahmedabad section. The connectivity to economic nodes in the proposed alignment will help increase freight transportation of cement and chemicals, which are largely produced in this part of the country.
During the meeting, senior officials from the M/O Railways shared that the proposed Barbil-Barsuan-Nayagarh Railway line, covering a distance of 181 km, will connect major iron mines in the region and boost trade in steel plants in Eastern India. The proposed alignment will include the construction of 15 new stations near major mining sites such as Sundergarh and Keonjhar. With connectivity to major rail networks such as Tata, Dhamra, Bokaro and eastern ports such as Vishakapatnam and Paradip, it is estimated that the project will see an increase of about 37 per cent in traffic in the first five years.
All three projects were evaluated by the NPG and recommended for implementation with certain suggestions to address last-mile connectivity and achieve the right multimodal logistics share. These include intermodal infrastructure, the creation of multi-modal logistics park facilities and other terminal infrastructure related to railways and roadways.