Konkan Railway Zone: A Unique Missing Link

The Konkan Railway is a particular one of the Indian Railway that is situated on the Konkan stretch of land in the country. This region is the coastal area in the western part of the country adjacent to the Arabian Sea. The Konkan region is known best for its mineral resources. Also, the stretch is a very beautiful one. The Konkan Railway is the line that connects Karnataka with Kerala before extending all the way to Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. The Konkan region has a total of 760 kms of track route. It extends over 273 kms in Karnataka, 105 kms in Goa and 382 kms in Maharashtra. This section of the Indian Railway has a single broad gauge line and extends from Mumbai to Mangalore, both of which are well known cities in the country. The terrain is a difficult one and therefore 25000 people had to put a combined effort to make it possible. This line was constructed comparatively recently compared to lines on other zones in the Indian Railway. Back in the year 1991, work on this line started. There are 53 railway stations on this line, some of these being Ratnagiri, Chiplun, Udupi, Rajapur Road and Mapusa Road. The NH-17 is an important national highway in this section since  vehicles running on the western coast have to run through this road. This highway is crossed a couple of times by the tracks on this route. This region often experiences adverse weather conditions which makes the normal functioning of the zone difficult. The authorities have tried to solve these issues but the region keeps experiencing them again and again. Around the beginning of the 1880s, a survey had been conducted and people opined that constructing a railway track in the Konkan region was nothing but insane, considering the nature of its territory.

The Konkan region is rich in minerals such as Bauxite, Chromite, Manganese and Silica Sand. This region is expected to soon see a boom in industrial growth. A lot of factories and industries are expected to be constructed and this will affect the overall industrial development of the country. Work in petroleum industries have already begun and in certain places such as Devagarh near Chiplun and Nagothane near Roha. The track connecting Mangalore and Udupi was opened in 1993 on 23rd March which was 68 kms long. Another track from Roha to Veer was opened approximately after six months on the 27th of September in the year 1993. This track stretched 47 kms long. This line was stretched by another 52 kms till a place called Khed by the end of the month of April in 1995. Another track was constructed in March of 1995 connecting Udupi and Kundapura.

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