Gujarat, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab have expedited land acquisition process for the dedicated freight corridors, days after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal wrote to nine chief ministers, requesting them to clear hurdles in the project.
In his letter, Mr Goyal had told the chief ministers that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was closely monitoring the progress of the Rs 81,000-crore project.
In a recent meeting, the Prime Minister’s Office had questioned the delay in the project, with its deadline being moved from December 2021 to June 2022.
Over the last seven days, the Railways has sorted out land acquisition issues with these five states.
In Punjab, the Railways agreed to the state government’s proposal to allow it to borrow money from the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) for the construction of road-under bridges, while in certain areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, it has coordinated with local authorities to deploy police force to deal with law and order issues.
In Punjab, the long-pending land possession issues for road under bridges and road over bridges at three locations have been resolved, Railways officials said, while land issues for construction of high tension line at two locations were resolved.
In Bihar’s Rohtas district, three teams have been formed to expedite payment and taking physical possession of land, and police have been deployed at two road over bridges which have been approved, the officials said.
In Jharkhand’s Giridh district, Rs 60 crore have been disbursed for land, while in Dhanbad, two acres of land which was stuck has been received.
The project requires maximum land in Uttar Pradesh.
In Kanpur, it has received the long-stuck 80-m long piece of land needed for an approach road for a road under bridge, while the remaining 40-metre will be received by September 15, the officials said.
A five-km patch in Saharanpur district which was stuck for over 2.5 years due to law and order issues was also cleared and possession taken by the Railways on September 6, they said, adding similar stuck land patches in the state were also cleared.
In Gujarat too, three road over bridges in Bharuch and seven in Surat have been awarded.
To put the Railways’ freight project in order, Mr Goyal held several meeting stakeholders and officials to expedite the progress and resolve critical issues of the DFC over the past 10 days.