KONKAN RAILWAY AND MINISTER GEORGE FERNANDEZ Mr. Fernandes had a fierce ambition to see the Konkan Railway project through,

Salient Features-Konkan Railway project :

GaugeBroad Gauge(1676 mm)
Length762 Km
Ruling Gradient150(compensated)
Number of Stations59
Number of major bridges179(with total linear water way of 21.50 Kms . )
Number of minor bridges1819(linear water-way of 5.73 Kms .)
Number of tunnels92(total length 83.60 Kms.)
Longest tunnel6.5 Km.( Karbude tunnel)
Tallest Viaduct64 meters in height (Panval viaduct)
Longest Bridge2065.8 m. (Sharavati river bridge)

Mr. Fernandes 

Mumbai, June 16Twentyfour passengers were killed and more than 60 injured when the Matsyagandha Express travelling between Mangalore and Mumbai on the Konkan Railway route fell off a bridge amidst heavy rain this morning.
Derailed coaches of the Mumbai-bound Matsyagandha Express passenger train hang from a bridge at Amboli village, 200 km from Mumbai, on Wednesday. — PTI photo
Derailed coaches of the Mumbai-bound Matsyagandha Express passenger train hang from a bridge at Amboli village, 200 km from Mumbai, on Wednesday

had a fierce ambition to see the Konkan Railway project through, (may be because he is from Mangalore and to travel to Bombay he had to go via kerala and Tamil nadu ,before konkan railway was made)

but arranging funds for such a mega project was going to be tough


Until the Konkan Railway started its operations, the two important port cities Mangalore and Mumbai were not directly connected by the railway network. Even though economic reasons provided a strong need to connect these two cities, the region through which the railway track passed was geographically very tough and would be an engineering challenge. Due to the uneven terrain of the region, railway lines were not laid for many years.
India - Railway pictures ...
Although the brainchild of veteran parliamentarian from Ratnagiri, ,

Manohar Joshi

 national leaders such as

Madhu Dandavate

  who hailed from the Konkan and George Fernandes, played a major role in the conception of Konkan Railway
. In 1966, a line was constructed between Diva in Mumbai and Apta in Raigad district.

 During the tenure of Madhu Dandavate, this was extended up to Roha in 1986, mainly to serve the industries located in the area.

However, the missing link from Roha to Mangalore still remained. In October 1984, the Ministry of Railways decided to take a final location engineering-cum-traffic survey for the west coastal portion from Mangalore to Madgaon - a total distance of 325 km.

 In March 1985, the railways decided to extend the scope of their survey to include the omitted length of the west coast line extending from Madgaon to Roha. The Southern Railway was entrusted with this final location survey. They submitted the project report for this route to the Railway Ministry in 1988 and named it as the Konkan Railway after the coastline along which it runs.
View From Konkan Railway ...
The project gained impetus after George Fernandes became the Railway Minister in 1989.

 It was decided to constitute a separately incorporated railway company for the construction and operation of the line. Thus, on July 19, 1990, the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) was incorporated as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 1956, with its headquarters at CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai

E. Sreedharan, a senior railway official, as its first Chairman and Managing Director. The company set itself a challenging target of five years to complete the work - something that had never been achieved in India before for a project of this magnitude. The foundation stone for the project was laid at Roha on September 15, 1990, and the Corporation had its task cut out.
Konkan Railway, One of the ...
Where 100 km over easy territory had taken 20 years, KRCL initially had a mere five years to build the Konkan Railway, a time frame which was further reduced by six months
Mr. George Fernandes on his first day in office in 1989 as the Minister for Railways flagged off the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd [KRCL]. Its mandate: raise your own funds and construct with speed and economy a railway connecting Mumbai with Mangalore and pay off the loans in the promised time. It was a sweeping challenge and it met its hero in Dr. E. Sreedharan, a veteran railway man known for brisk efficiency. Fernandes persuaded him out of his retirement and made him the Chairman and Managing Director of Konkan Railway.konkan-railway.jpg

Sreedharan faced this 'to-do' list:
~ 760 kM of rails to be laid with little gradient.
~ 2000 bridges to build
~ 92 tunnels totaling 83kM to bore
Konkan Railway
~ 42,000 landowners to deal with to acquire 4,850 hectares of land
~ 4 state governments to interact with
~ Rs.2250 crores to be raised
~ Life-styles and environment to be least disturbed

konkan railway in the ...

The Corporation acted fair. In many cases landowners h
ad neglected the paper work. The Corporation did a lot of hand-holding and when the papers were set right, they were paid a fair price. A mango tree was valued between Rs.2,000 and Rs.10,000 jack-fruit trees, Rs.2000 and cashew trees, Rs.1000. Heritage , community and religious structures were left alone. Displaced farmers were helped with transportation and rehabilitation. Near Dasgaon a new burial ground was built and bones and remains from the old ground transported with reverence. Payment cheques were door-delivered! All these were done in twelve months in a highly bureaucratised India!

Sreedharan had divided the length of 760kM into 7 sectors of approximately 100kM each. Each had a Chief Engineer with full freedom of decision making. And with the freedom came, in not so small a print, a definite time target. Four concrete sleeper plants were set up at Chiplun, Madgaon, Kudal and Murdeshwar to manufacture the 1.3 million
Konkan Railway Line
sleepers required for the project. Besides this cement, steel, explosives, rails and a hundred other things had to be delivered through harsh terrain. Depots were created for these. Wherever possible design was standardised to be built with pre-stressed parts cast elsewhere. International norms were followed in evaluating and short listing contractors. Their bids were decided upon within 72 hours of opening. Independent quality assurance inspectors were appointed.
Konkan Railway Tour
For all these preparations the ordeal on the ground was not in any way mitigated. Many hair raising adventures -- some that nearly killed them -- were encountered. In 1994 the Mahad sector had floods that stood 12 feet above road level! Four workers building the Byndoor tunnel were blown back 60 feet by a sudden gush of water.
Panval  Viaduct 

At Ukshi an entire mountainside buried the works and equipment. Engineer Kapoor building the Pernem tunnel was nailed by a boulder on his foot and buried chest deep following a soil collapse. He was rescued by his colleague Jayasankaran in an act of daring that won him a bravery award. Engineers stayed away from homes for months.

new madgaon station

new madgaon station, Goa, Goa Travelogue, photo, picture, image

Many 'firsts':

When the railway was opened to the public on Jan 26, 1998, it had scored many firsts.

For the first time in India funds for the project were raised without touching the government coffers. The authorised capital of Rs.800 crores was pooled together by the railways and the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa and Maharashtra.
 ... agents of konkan railway
 This was leveraged by means of public bonds to the extent of Rs.2250 crores. These bonds carried attractive rates of return, tax breaks and guaranteed repayment. The project also employed the least number of people in its management: at its peak a mere 2400, all in. 

Konkan Railway
From the beginning the Corporation had set its mind on extensive use of information technology. Consider this in conjunction with the fact that in 1990, IT had just about begun to make its presence felt worldwide. 
konkan railway one of the ...
An international record in tunnel boring was set: the Natuvadi tunnel's 204 metres per month beat the previous 187 metres. And, a report by SIDA, Sweden asked: Would not Sweden sort out much of its tunnel boring problems by sending its engineers to Konkan railway?
konkan railway route map ...
Finally, to the amazement of disbelieving Indians, the project was completed in a mere 8 years, which is a bare wink of an eye in India.
Konkan Railway bridge, Zuari ...

Sreedharan alarmed overdelay in railway projects

NAGPUR: E Sreedharan, a Padma Vibhushan awardee famous for executing prestigious mega railway projects, has expressed alarm over the slow progress of railway projects in the country.

Addressing the officials of Central Railway and South-East Central Railway (SECR) on Saturday, Sreedharan said that a decision that should be taken in eighteen hours takes eighteen months. "India's infrastructure is in a bad shape and we can't afford such delays. The Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro proves that projects can be completed even before time in this country," he said, pointing out his achievements. He was invited by railway officials to deliver a talk on 'Challenges before government officials in present day scenario'.

"We had acquired land of 43,000 farmers for Konkan Railway. Still the project was completed before time. A lot depends on railway officials. They should be punctual and honest. They should value the time of others," he said.

The ex-member of railway board said that he was pained to see the level of corruption in railways today. "It exists at every level and has given a bad name to the organization. Each and every employee must take pride in his or her organization and refrain from committing any wrong act," he remarked.

Sreedharan stressed that honesty and hard work pay in the long run. "When I joined railways I was transferred twenty times in first fifteen years because I refused to do wrong things. But I did not surrender my morals. Finally the prime minister himself realized the value of hard work.

"There was a conspiracy to remove me from a big railway project as I was not considered pliable. However, the then prime minister Narasimha Rao was personally supervising the project and the PMO summoned me. I talked to the senior officials and the railway ministry's orders were cancelled," he proudly said.

Dr Meera Arora, who compered the programme, said that railway officials of Nagpur would urge the government in their personal capacity to confer Bharat Ratna on Sreedharan.