The commencement of work for construction for the third link between Rourkela and Jharsuguda was inaugurated on Saturday by Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha.

Given the substantial increase in traffic between the two important stations, the third link was an urgent necessity of the day, Sinha said while inaugurating the 101 km-long link at Rourkela railway station here.

The minister said every day over 73 trains were plying on this route even as daily capacity on this link was 54 trains per day.

With the completion of the link by 2019-2020, the present capacity would enhance from 127 per cent to 164 per cent, he said.

Besides, tripling of the existing double-line sections between Khargapur-Bondamunda and Jharsuguda-Champa necessitated the augmentation of line capacity between Rourkela and Jharsuguda to avoid bottlenecks and derive full benefit in the operation, Sinha said.

The whole link would have 12 major bridges, 130 minor bridges and the longest would be the Brahmani Bridge at Panposh, Rourkela.

The outlay for the project in 2015-16 was Rs.44 crore, which was increased to Rs.103 crore in 2016-17. Contact for earthwork and minor bridges have been awarded in January this year and remaining tenders were under process, the minister said.

Sinha said that with the completion of the link and the Khargapur-Mumbai dedicated freight corridor, Rourkela would benefit immensely.