labels: engineering, konkan railway corporation, railways
KRCL to float firms to execute rail, tunnel project in Kashmirnews
Nisha Das
05 June 2003

Mumbai: Public sector undertaking Konkan Railway Corporation (KRCL) is planning to float independent companies to execute a Rs 1,200-crore rail and tunnelling project in the high ranges of Kashmir. The corporation has already called for engineers who are domiciled in the valley to form companies with the technical support of KRCL.

KRCL officials say the corporation is in the process of executing a Rs 1,200-crore railway track project at the most critical high range section between Katra and Laole of the Udhampur-Baramullah railway line project in Jammu and Kashmir.

Says KRCL managing director B Rajaram: "It is the first time ever that such an initiative has been taken by a public sector undertaking. Groups of engineers comprising ten people will be formed and they will oversee each section of the tunnelling."

The groups will then form their own companies and the same will be registered under the Companies Act 1956. The project will be financed by the KRCL. Fifty per cent of the capital will be used for their expenditure and the rest will be used as the company''s reserve.

After the project is completed, the company will exist independently," he says. The rail and tunnelling project undertaken by KRCL comprises the ghat region of 900 meters above the sea level and is one of the toughest missions undertaken by the KRCL till date.

"The project is executed with a difference: KRCL has enrolled 340 amateur engineers who are domiciles of the valley and they will be given the independent charge in executing the project," the KRCL officials add.

The 90-kilometre laying of the track is the most difficult part but KRCL has its expertise in this area, having constructed railway tracks on the hilly ghat region on the Konkan route as well as the long tunnels on the Mumbai-Pune highway. "We have world-class expertise today. But we want to pass it own to the young blood. So we will train these youngsters to be on their own," says Rajaram.

Out of the 90-kilometre route between Katra and Laole, 70 per cent of the route comprises tunnels. "There are places where no man has set foot till date. We are finding it difficult to reach there even by mules. Even for the survey part we have to construct approach roads and temporary bridges over the rivers like Chenab," Rajaram sums up.

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KRCL to float firms to execute rail, tunnel project in Kashmir