Karnataka

Mysuru-Chamarajanagar track electrification hits hurdle of NOC from AAI

Until the 750-metre stretch near Mysuru airport is electrified, railways have to run diesel locomotives on the Mysuru-Chamarajanagar section.

Until the 750-metre stretch near Mysuru airport is electrified, railways have to run diesel locomotives on the Mysuru-Chamarajanagar section. | Photo Credit: SRIRAM MA

Track electrification work between Mysuru and Chamarajanagar has got stuck as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is yet to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the Railways for drawing overhead cables near Mandakalli where the track runs close to the starting point of the runway of Mysuru airport.

Though 97% of the overhead wiring along the 61-km stretch between Mysuru and Chamarajanagar has been completed, work on a 750-metre stretch near the runway is yet to be taken up pending the NOC, according to sources. This is in addition to about 2 km of wiring that is yet to be completed for technical reasons.

The issue came up when dates were proposed for the statutory inspection of new railway lines, gauge conversion completion, track doubling and railway electrification work completed by the end of March 2022.

Railway authorities claimed that the inability to get an NOC from the AAI had impeded track electrification work between Mysuru and Chamarajanagar. Hence, the section may not be ready for inspection on the proposed date.

They suggested that instead the 6-km Mysuru–Ashokapuram section could be taken up for inspection by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS).

Sources in the AAI admitted that an NOC was yet to be issued, and a decision had to be taken at the highest level as the electromagnetic waves of electric locomotives could interfere with the navigation system on aircraft and compromise their safety. <SU>

Until the stretch is electrified, the Railways have to rely on diesel locomotives on the Mysuru–Chamarajanagar section. In terms of railway operations, extending the run of long-distance trains powered by electric locomotives till Chamarajanagar will help keep the platforms in Mysuru free to receive additional trains.

A file photo of Mysuru railway station. Extending the run of long-distance trains powered by electric locomotives till Chamarajanagar will help keep platforms in Mysuru free to receive additional trains.

A file photo of Mysuru railway station. Extending the run of long-distance trains powered by electric locomotives till Chamarajanagar will help keep platforms in Mysuru free to receive additional trains. | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

S. Yogendra, a railway activist advocating greater railway connectivity and facilities as a mass transport system, said the delay by the AAI had rendered the 61-km stretch inoperable for electric trains and was affecting thousands of daily commuters. “Due to a 750-metre gap in overhead cabling along a 61-km stretch, diesel locomotives have to be used in the section, which is not environment-friendly and are being phased out by the Railways,” he added.

Rajashekar, Deputy Chief Engineer, Railway Electrification on Mysuru–Chamarajanagar section, said they had applied for the NOC from the AAI, which was mandatory, but were yet to hear from them though they expect things to progress in due course.

If the NOC is not received soon, the Railways may be forced to explore the option of installing underground cabling along the stretch.

The Mysuru–Chamarajanagar section is assuming importance in view of the rapid industrialisation around the Nanjangud belt, which is a major town on the section. Besides, an inland container depot of the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) is coming up at Kadakola. Electric locomotives are expected to offer a hassle-free transportation option for cargo from the hinterland to ports.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2022 3:15:22 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mysuru-chamarajanagar-track-electrification-hits-hurdle-of-noc-from-aai/article65422758.ece