There has been disheartening news to the effect that gauge conversion between Mavli Junction to Bari Sadri has been delayed due to financial indiscipline by the contractor.
The meter gauge rail line, now under gauge conversion, came into being in 1948. It is an 82 km long section from Mavli Junction connecting to Bari Sadri, covering Vallabh Nagar, Kheroda, Bhinder, Kanor, Bansi and Bohera enroute. This was the last work executed by the princely state of Mewar. The work was completed before independence but trains started only in 1948.
There used to be two pairs of trains on the route – one being day train and other night routes. Long ago, the night train service was put off and slowly the day train was reduced to a mere three coaches train with no staff on the intermediate stations and no signal system in place. This was courtesy a court order that a day train was plying on the route for namesake.
On an experimental basis, the train route was merged with that of Mavli Jn- Marwar Jn and the merged route was Bari Sadri- Marwar Jn. However, the experiment did not pay off and the train was again brought to its original destinations viz. Mavli Jn- Bari Sadri.
This route has been a classical example of awareness of the people of the belt, whose continued efforts and agitation forced the then UPA government to agree for conversion of gauge. However, the biggest disappointment is that the gauge conversion would be delayed as the contractor could not complete allotted work in the given time frame and defaulted. The fund allocated for the current financial year in the pink book is Rs. 120 Crores and so far utilization of funds stands at paltry Rs. 11.02 Cr, says a response received from Northern Western Railways against a RTI request. The reply further says that due to slow progress the contractor has been asked to terminate his work on 25th Sep, 2017. Understandably, new contractor will have to be roped in after due process of tender and resultantly, the gauge conversion shall be delayed.Contributed by: MK Kothari, Honorary Correspondent, UdaipurTimes