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RITES approves Delhi-Myanmar rail link

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) A feasibility study, carried out by RITES on India-Myanmar rail link as a first step for Delhi-Hanoi train connectivity, had suggested construction of new rail route between Jiribam-Imphanl-Moreh on the Indian side, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

In Myanmar, the study suggested construction of a new rail link between Tamu (Moreh)-Kalay-Segyi at a cost of Rs 1339.02 crore and rehabilitation of existing line from Segyi to Chaungu Myohaung, involving an expenditure of Rs 283.959 crore.

The construction of the new rail route on the Indian side would cost Rs 2941.08 crore, the government informed the House in a written reply.

''The link will provide substantial benefits to the bilateral trade between India and Myanmar,'' it said.

On the dedicated multi-modal high-axle load, the government said, the feasibility study on Western and Eastern routes, with computerised train control system, had been completed.

''The cost of the project is estimated at Rs 21140 crore. The projects have been considered by the Expanded Board and sent to the Union Cabinet for approval,'' it added.

In reply to another query, it said the Railways had planned to phase out or modify 780 AC coaches with R-12 refrigerant manufactured before 1994, keeping in view the Montreal Protocol on Environment of which India is a signatory.

After 1994, the Railways have already switched over to manufacturing AC coaches with Environment-friendly refrigerant (R-22). R-12 refrigerant has to be phased out by 2010.

''About 300 coaches out of 780 would complete their service life by 2010 and will be phased out in normal course. The balance 480 coaches will be converted by 2010 with environment-friendly R134a gas. Work in this direction has already started,'' it said.

Railway coach factories manufacture about 350 AC coaches every year to meet the requirements on additional and replacement account.

Further, production of first class coaches have also been stopped and the existing such coaches are withdrawn on 'age-cum-condition' basis.

UNI SKS SHB RK1800

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