In our previous write ups on rail issues of Aurangabad in particular and Marathwada in general we have given some suggestions for the development of railways and how to increase rail connectivity in the region.
Read: Railways and Aurangabad
The railway board has taken some important decisions and sanctioned survey work to be taken up in the upcoming financial year. Although positive there’s some bad news too. But first the good news. New survey works sanctioned by the railway board for lines passing through Marathwada are as follows:
Osmanabad – Beed – Aurangabad 200 km.
Aurangabad – Puntamba 75km
Aurangabad – Buldhana – Khamgaon 170 km.
Ahmadnagar – Aurangabad 115km.
Nashik – Shirdi via Sinner 72 km.
Nashik – Sinner line will get connected to Aurangabad – Puntamba new line at Shirdi and will cut short the distance to Mumbai significantly. Ajanta will come near to getting an indirect rail connection via Aurangabad – Khamgaon route. In other development Solapur – Osmanabad and Manmad – Igatpuri (3rd line) work has been sanctioned.
The sad news is that Aurangabad – Chalisgaon railway line has been shelved by the railway board due to low rate of return (-) 2.23%. Also survey work of Pune – Ahmednagar rail route has been cancelled by the railway board. The Aurangabad – Ahmednagar – Pune – Dighi line could have provided rail connectivity to Pune and the upcoming port at Dighi as well as ensure linkage between two DMIC nodes and with Konkan railway.
However, much depends on the rate of return a proposed railway line can generate. If the RoR is positive and profitable then only railways can expect to proceed with the project otherwise the line remains a non starter(like many old survey works). Hope railway board reconsiders its decision to shelve Aurangabad – Chalisgaon & Pune – Ahmadnagar railwayline and proceed with them in public interest.
Developing North – South and East – West connectivity is crucial for access to market for sale of finished goods, import of raw materials and movement of people. Growth and investment is possible when Aurangabad can offer investors bulk transportation at cost effective rates which is dependent on development of railways.
Better rail and air connectivity along with good network of highways can be an attractive proposition for Business to Make in Aurangabad!