New Delhi, Jan 17 : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today gave its approval for gauge conversion of Ratlam-Mhow-Khandwa-Akola (472.64 km).
The cost of the gauge conversion would be about Rs.1421.25 crore.
There existed a meter gauge North South Link between Jaipur and Secunderabad covering 1469 kms.
The line connected major townships like Jaipur, Ajmer and Chhitaurgarh in Rajasthan, Ratlam, Indore, Mhow and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, Akola, Purna and Mudkhed in Maharashtra and Manoharbad and Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
Out of 1469 kms on this route, 805 kms from Jaipur to Ratlam and Secunderabad to Purna have already been converted to BG.
The work on Akola Purna section covering 210 kms is targeted for completion by March 2008. Thus section from Ratlam to Akola covering about 454 kms is approved for gauge conversion.
Ratlam-Akola conversion will restore shorter alternative North South route link connecting Secunderabad, Chennai with Jaipur, Ajmer, Ratlam, Indore, Khandwa, Akola and other towns in North West Rajasthan.
The route will provide broad gauge connectivity for carrying food grains / oil cakes, cement from Nimach / Chittaurgarh area and various products from Pithampur Special Economic Zones near Mhow to Southern States.
It will also facilitate movement of military personnel and equipment's from Mhow containment.
Work is likely to be completed in a period of five years.