Chandigarh - Ludhiana rail link
Almost a decade after its inception, the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link project seems to be on the verge of completion now. The Rs 566-crore project is expected to reduce the distance between the two cities by 46 kilometres and will provide an alternative to the existing railway route between Chandigarh and Ludhiana.The 112-kilometre project is divided into three phases, of which phase II (Morinda-Sahnewal) is expected to be completed by 2010 and phase III (Sahnewal-Ludhiana) before March 2009. The first phase — Chandigarh-Morinda link — has been functional since 2006.Land acquisition for the Morinda-Sahnewal link has already been completed. The Northern Railways has acquired around 21 kilometres of land from the state government between Morinda and Khamano. Of the total five stations — Morinda, Khamano, Samrala, Madpur and Sahnewal — three are under construction. Construction for the 15-kilometre Sahnewal-Ludhiana link is on in full swing. As this section is parallel to the existing rail link, the trains will pass through the only station — Dhandari Kalan. “Execution of the project does not take much time — the major hurdle is land acquisition, which is the state government’s responsibility. Our target is to complete the project by 2010. Electrification of the track will be started after the engineering department finishes the construction of bridges and tracks,” said a senior official of the construction wing.Sources said the rail link will have 50 level crossings, 13 major bridges and 10 minor bridges and 11 stations.