In the railway budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, Bihar has been allocated a significant amount of Rs 8,505 crore. It should be noted that this amount is considerably higher than the railway budget that has been allocated to the state in previous years. In fact, this budget allocation is almost seven times more than what the state has received in the past. This increase in the railway budget for Bihar could potentially result in significant improvements to the state's transportation and connectivity infrastructure.
In a recent statement, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that the railway infrastructure in Bihar will undergo a significant modernization process through the redevelopment of about 87 stations in the state. This initiative is a part of the ongoing efforts to improve the state's transportation and connectivity infrastructure along with meeting the demands of the modern world and providing better services to the people of Bihar.
Upgradation of 87 railway stations
Under the Amrit Bharat Stations scheme, 87 railway stations, including Patna, Danapur, Rajgir, and Jehanabad, are set to be redeveloped into world-class stations. The East Central Railway (ECR) authorities have announced that the renovation of stations and other projects will receive budgetary allocations of Rs 296 crore for Gaya, Rs 442 crore for Muzaffarpur, Rs 221 crore for Motihari, and Rs 262 crore for Sitamarhi. The redevelopment of these stations will include the provision of modern facilities for passengers.
Introduction of 3 New Vande Bharat Express Trains
According to the announcement made in the Union Budget, there are plans to connect the capitals of Bihar and Jharkhand, Patna and Ranchi respectively, through the Vande Bharat Express.
Three new Vande Bharat Express trains will run on Patna-Howrah, Patna-Ranchi, and Varanasi-Howrah via Gaya routes starting in April this year. The Vande Bharat Express train from New Jalpaiguri to Howrah has already generated significant attention since its launch.
In the event of the train's launch, the travel time between the two cities will be reduced to only four hours. The railway track on the Patna to Howrah route will be reinforced and fortified to facilitate the operation of high-speed trains, including the Vande Bharat Express. Furthermore, the Vande Bharat train from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Howrah will run through Gaya.
Construction of new rail lines along with gauge conversion
As per the Union Budget, funds have been allocated for the construction of new railway lines on various routes such as Gaya-Bodhgaya-Chatra, Bihta-Aurangabad via Anugrahnarayan Road, Araria-Galgalia, Gaya-Natesar, Gaya- Daltonganj via Rafiganj, Rajgir-Hisua-Tilaiya & Natesar-Islampur, Fatuha-Ismalpur-Neora-Daniyawan-Biharsharif-Barbigha-Sheikhpura, Koderma-Tilaiya, Hajipur-Sagauli via Vaishali, Araria-Supaul, Sakri-Hasanpur, and Chapra-Muzaffarpur, and many more.
In addition to the construction of new railway lines, a lot of manpower will towards gauge conversion work on various routes such as Jayanagar-Darbhanga-Narkatiaganj and Mansi-Saharsa-Madhepura-Purnia. This work involves changing the gauge of existing railway tracks to a different width in order to improve transportation efficiency and speed.
The Indian Railways is currently working on a new line project that will connect Neora-Daniyawan and Barbigha-Sheikhpura at an estimated cost of Rs 1563 crore. As per the Ministry of Railways, the physical progress of the project has already reached 67.46%.
The main objective of this project is to reduce the load on Patna-Kiul Mainline by providing an alternate route. The new line is expected to improve connectivity and provide better transportation options to the people of Bihar. Once completed, the project will enhance the overall efficiency of the railway network in the state along with improving connectivity to several other parts of the state.