BENGALURU: The proposal to have the first factory in Karnataka to manufacture rail coaches was announced five years ago in the Railway budget. However, the project remains a paper project due to massive delays in land acquisition and non-allocation of funds.
“This factory and Railway Colony for employees spread across 1,118 acres in Srinivasapura taluk of Kolar are expected to generate employment for hundreds of locals during the construction stage itself,” said a top Railway official.
After the announcement of the project by then Union Railway Minister Dinesh Triwedi in his 2012-2013 budget, it has not made any progress. As is the norm for all railway projects, the land for the project would be acquired and handed over to Railways free of cost. The construction cost involved here, Rs 1,460 crores, would be shared 50:50 between the state and Centre.
“However, the acquisition process has not taken off yet. The state government is still in the process of identifying the parcel of land to be handed over for the project,” the official added. The major portion of the land presently contemplated belongs to government departments while at least 250 acres belongs to farmers.
Additional Chief Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, D V Prasad told Express, “It is up to the Railways to take a final decision on whichever chunk of land they want to acquire. We will obtain it for them.” Asked about the time frame involved in the acquisition, Prasad said it would definitely be done this year (before December 2017).
Chief Administrative Officer, Constructions, SWR, Ashok Gupta said, “The state government has asked Railways for the minimum land that would be required for both the factory and the Colony. It has also asked us to examine if the two can be located across each other.”