Guwahati, Tuesday, November 16, 2010
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Deadline slippages due to law & order problems
Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, Nov 15 – With most of the rail projects in the North-east witnessing massive slippages of deadline, the Railway Ministry has blamed adverse law-and-order situation and dearth of contractors for the delay.

Though on paper the scenario looks promising, on the ground the situation is quite different. Only two capitals including Guwahati and Agartala of the eight State capitals are currently connected by Railways, while all other projects are ‘under implementation.

But the Railways can’t complain of financial crunch for the slippages, because nine new lines and two broad gauge conversion projects have been declared as ‘National Projects’. At least 25 per cent of the funding is provided through Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) and balance 75 per cent is provided by the Ministry of Finance as additionality, admitted Minister of State Railways E Ahmed in a Rajya Sabha reply to a question by Biren Baishya.

So, the official version dished out was that the progress of works is affected due to difficult working conditions, adverse law-and-order situation and dearth of contractors in the area.

The Minister said efforts are being made to mobilise contractors for working in the region. Necessary security is provided through the interaction with State Governments and matters related to land acquisition are also being pursued, he said.

Currently, 12 new and four gauge conversion projects in the North-east are under various stages of implementation.

The prominent projects under implementation includes, among others, the Bogibeel bridge, Jiribum-Tupul-Imphal, Azra-Byrnihat, Dimapur, Kohima, Agartala-Sabroom, Byrnihat-Shillong, Harmuti-Itanagar, Dudhnoi-Mendipara and New Mainaguri-Jogighopa Projects.

The most prominent gauge conversion projects mired in complications include the Lumding-Silchar, Rangiya-Murkongselek, and New Jalpaiguri-New Bongaigaon. The New Guwahati-Digaru patch is also pending doubling.

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