New Delhi: Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday informed the Parliament that the completion time of the Khurda Road-Bolangir new line project cannot be ascertained at this time.
Giving a written reply to Rajya Sabha on a question of BJD Member Prashanta Nanda, Minister Mr.Vaishnaw said completion of any railway project depends on various factors like quick land acquisition by State Government, forest clearance by officials of forest department, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law and order situation in the area of project site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions, etc.
“All these factors affect the completion time of the project. As such, firm completion time of the project cannot be ascertained at this stage,” the Union Minister said.
The railway has taken up the work on Khurda Road-Bolangir new line (289 km) with an anticipated cost of Rs 3792 crore. An expenditure of Rs 1497 crore has been incurred on the project upto March 2021 and an outlay of Rs 1000.50 crore (Railway’s share: Rs 500.50 crore and State’s share: Rs 500 crore) has been provided in the financial year 2021-22, he informed.
So far, 92 km length (Khurda Road to Mahipur (77 km) and Bolangir to Bichupalli (15 km)) of the project has been commissioned. Work has been taken up in Mahipur-Nuagaon-Buguda (45 km), Purunakatak-Boudh-Sonepur (65 km) and Sonepur tarbha-Bachupally (37 km), Vaishnaw said.
This project involves acquisition of 6162 acre land and diversion of 1844 acre forest land, out of which 5208 acre land has been acquired and diversion of 170 acre forest land has been completed. Further, acquisition of 954 acre land and diversion of 1674 acre forest land have been taken up, he added.
East Coast Railway is executing the project, which has been delayed for several years.