Acquire land for railway projects fast: CM - The New Indian Express

Acquire land for railway projects fast: CM

Published: 04th October 2013 09:51 AM

Last Updated: 04th October 2013 09:52 AM

Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday instructed revenue officials to expedite acquisition of land required to execute railway projects being taken up on a cost-sharing basis with the Railway Ministry.

After holding a high-level meeting of both the civil and railway officials here, Siddaramaiah told reporters, “Delay in land acquisition is one of the main causes of delay in executing various projects.”

Stating that the State government had earmarked `373 crore in its 2013-14 budget for railway projects, he said, “We have already released `100 crore and another `150 crore will be released this week.”

Siddaramaiah said Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge had recently decided to release `300 crore in addition to what was proposed in the Railway budget. “In addition to `250 crore, the State government will release remaining funds as the work progresses,” he added.

Informing that State government had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Railway Ministry to take up about 18 projects on a cost-sharing basis, he said the government has taken proactive steps to speed up land acquisition by invoking emergency clause.

About 2,500 acres of land have been acquired and handed over to Railways in the last three years, he said.

Expressing concern over the escalation of project cost he said, “We have appealed to the railway officials to focus on completing or getting the schemes that are nearing operational completion.”

Infrastructure Development Minister Santhosh Lad said, “We have instructed the railway officials to speed up the works on priority to avoid cost escalation.”

He said out of the 2,193 km of targeted creation of new railway line only about 463 km of line has been commissioned.

Lad said, “We have to speed up the process from the present by adding 100 km of length to about 180 to 200 km every year. The much-delayed Mysore-Bangalore doubling line project is expected to be ready by the end of 2014.”

He said the fund requirement for already committed projects is around `10,000 crore in addition to land acquisition cost and the government has told Railway officials to encourage the public-private partnership model for speedy completion of the projects.

“The total estimated cost of all the on-going projects will be around `25,000 crore and it may require another two decades to complete it, unless we explore alternative means,” he said.

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