New Delhi, March 7 : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday approved the construction of a third railway line between Narayangarh in West Bengal and Bhadrak in Odisha.
The 155-km long new line would cost Rs 1,866.31 crore and is slated for completion during 2023-24, an official statement said.
The busy section between Narayangarh and Bhadrak is mainly used for movement of coking coal to steel plants.
It is also used for movement of iron ore from Chakradharpur to export ports.
According to the government, the new line would help create the capacity to cope with existing as well as additional traffic.
"This third line will help ease movement of coal. This will help steel and power plants as well as the export industry, boosting the economies of Odisha and West Bengal and entire eastern India," the statement said.
The Narayangarh-Bhadrak section is a part of the Howrah-Chennai trunk route.
The present utilisation of the section is to the tune of 138 per cent as per Line Capacity Statement 2014-15.
"Over and above the heavy freight traffic, the route has to accommodate 47 pairs of passenger trains including high-speed ones like Bhubaneswar Rajdhani, Howrah-Yesvantpur Duronto, Howrah-Puri Duronto, Sealdah-Puri Duronto and Howrah-Puri Shatabdi Express.
This makes it highly congested," it added.
A government official said that the project would also help generate direct employment for about 37.2 lakh mandays during construction, and has the potential to generate indirect employment as well.