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Considered 2nd biggest broad-gauge railway tunnel in the Odisha state of India, the famous Maliguda Tunnel serves the Indian Railways for its operation in this region. What makes it special is that this tunnel is considered biggest one after Banihal-Quazigund Tunnel of India located in the Jammu & Kashmir state as longest of all such tunnels. As the tunnel is located nearby picturesque Maliguda village of Odisha it has been named after that village.
Purpose of Tunnel
Located nearby Koraput in the Odisha state’s east Jeypore at a distance of 13 km., this tunnel had been solely built with this aim to smoothen the railways connectivity and better infrastructure. Professional Japanese engineers were involved for the construction of this tunnel on the longest ever railway route of 430 km. This tunnel serves to the Indian Railways on one of its important routes even to this day.
While this tunnel was being constructed, its main purpose remained to ease the supply of the Iron Ore from Kirandul to Vizag Port through the railways route which covered Dantewara, Jagdalpur, Jeypore, Koraput, Padua, Araku and Kottavalasa amongst others. Today, this tunnel serves as an important linking area and which ensures the easy operation of railways passing through this route.
Well planned and highly strategic steps were taken to construct Maliguda Tunnel in Odisha. The period of five years from 1961 to 1966 therefore remained crucial as many well trained and professional Japanese engineers were involved to construct it. It was a collaborative effort between the Indian government and the Japanese groups to build the tunnel.
Progress of the Project
Regular efforts have been done over the period to make Maliguda Tunnel one of the best ones in the country. It has now attained the distinction of highest broad-gauge railway tunnel in the country and so does it maintain its distinction of being the 2nd highest in worldwide ranking. The areas nearby it have been developed into tourist spots hence they remain ideal place for weekend picnics on the hilltops.