Face-off over rly projects: Delay in execution of rly projects irks state

Bhubaneswar: The BJD-led state government and BJP-led NDA government at the Centre have locked horns over the delay in execution of railway projects in the state.
While the Railway Board is blaming the state for delay in land acquisition, the state government has rejected the claim as baseless.
In December 2017, the Railway Board had written twice to the state Commerce and Transport (C&T) Department stating railway projects in the state were badly affected because of delay in land acquisition.
Reacting to the letters, C&T secretary G Srinivas has written a letter to Railway Board member engineering MK Gupta.
“While refuting this misconception, it is stated categorically that land acquisition processes are taken up in right earnest in Orissa by the state government and the delays in project execution are not related to land acquisition,” Srinivas wrote.
Stating that state government has always recognised the
importance of Railways for
development of the state, he said, the state government came forward to invest heavily in railway projects.
The secretary pointed out, all initiatives taken by the state government for the development of railway projects that include complete exemption of registration fees and stamp duty of government land, exemption of premium, financial contribution in terms of sharing construction cost and free land for rail based industries. The government is one of the leading partners of the Railways in developing railway infrastructure, he said.
“The state government is ensuring availability of enough land with all major projects for which the Railways have sought land. Land availability is not an issue in project execution. As it can be appreciated, land acquisition is an on-going process of the Land Acquisition Act and the state government is taking all necessary steps in this regard,” Srinivas stated.
The C&T secretary requested Gupta to review the railway
projects and revoke his letter
(stating land acquisition is
behind the delay) ensuring that construction of railway projects in the state goes on smoothly on the land made available by the state government.


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