Centre, Odisha play blame game over delayed railway projects

Bhubaneswar
30 Dec 2017

The Centre and the Odisha government today entered into a blame game over the delay in execution of railway projects in the state. Union minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain, who is on an official visit here alleged in a press conference that several railway projects could not progress in the state due to non-availability of land.
Stating that the Centre has this fiscal sanctioned Rs 5,100 crore for railway infrastructure in Odisha, the minister said: "Though works progressed in many projects, some others are delayed due to non-availability of required land for the purpose. The state government has not provided the land for those delayed projects." The minister also said that there was no paucity of funds for the railway projects.
"We are not able to progress only due to lack of land and nothing else," Gohain said adding that the state government should expedite land acquisition and hand them over to railway for speedy progress of different projects. Gohain also appealed to the state government to provide land for different projects. He said there are several new projects for Odisha in the pipeline for development of railway infrastructure. Odisha's commerce and transport minister Nrushingha Sahoo, on the other hand, questioned the sincerity of the railways in completing the projects in the state. "The railways have not completed works on the projects even after getting adequate land. The railway ministry is now trying to shift its responsibility on others. They are not sincere," Sahoo said.
Sahoo, however, admitted delay in land acquisition for certain projects. "This delay is due to different land acquisition acts. The Centre has made a new land acquisition act in 2015. Earlier, there was a special land acquisition law for railway projects," Sahoo said.(PTI)