New Delhi: “The timely 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 (both underground and over ground), 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, cooperation and zeal of State government for early completion of project, encountering unforeseen conditions like earthquake, flooding, excessive rains, strikes of labour, orders of courts, situation and conditions of working agencies/contractors etc. “

“All these factors affect the completion time of the project, which is finely worked out at the completion stage”.

This is what replied the union minister for railway Piyush Goyal in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday to a question by Bolangir BJP MP Sangeeta Singhdeo whether there is inordinate delay in completion of railway projects in Odisha?

Quarrying about the present status of Khorda-Bolangir line project, Sangeeta had asked what steps the State government has taken to complete the project.

The union minister said at present, 36 projects costing Rs 49,984 crore for 4,567 km length, falling fully or partly in Odisha are different stages of plan/ approval/ execution. This includes 10 new li e projects covering a length of 1,269 km at a cost of Rs 16, 598 crore.t of which, 80 km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of Rs 4,260 crore has been incurred upto March 2019. One Gauge Conversion (GC) project covering a length of 140 km at a cost of Rs 1,349 crore. Out of which, 90 km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of Rs 191 crore has been incurred.

Twenty five Doubling Projects are covering a length of 3,159 km at a cost of 32,037 crore. Out of which, 494 Km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of8,246 crore has been incurred upto March 2019.

Goyal said, “Railway has taken up work of Khurda Road-Bolangir New Line (289 Km), costing Rs 3,798.80 crore. Expenditure incurred upto March, 2019 isRs 1,327.09 crore and an outlay of Rs 350 crore has also been provided in the Budget 2019-20. “

This Project is of 289 km length and divided into two parts. First part is from km 0 to km 112 and 2nd part is from km 112 to km 289. 1st part
(km 0 to km 112) is fully funded by Railway, while, second part (from km 112 to km 289) is on cost sharing, in which, the land is to be provided free of cost by government of Odisha along with sharing 50% cost of construction.

So far, 92 km length of the project has been completed and commissioned. Land acquisition and forestry clearance have been taken up in balance section and work taken up in available land.

In the overall interest of the nation and for smooth execution of work a lot of monitoring is done in Railways at various levels (field level, divisional level, zonal level and Board level) and regular meetings are held with the officials of State Government and authorities concerned to resolve the issues that are obstructing the progress of projects.