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4 decade old languishing rail Project prays for execution, rues official apathy
Issues that team of central ministers must address
1/20/2020 12:27:43 AM

EARLY TIMES REPORT

Jammu, Jan 19: Among the team of the central ministers visiting Jammu and Kashmir is Railways Minister Piysuh Goyal and there are questions that whether the 40 year old languishing rail project in the erstwhile state will see day’s light.
For decades, the concerns over the snail’s pace of work going on at Jammu and Kashmir’s main railway project- Srinagar-Baramulla-Udhampur Railway line are mounting with successive regimes accused of pushing the project of such importance in cold storage.
It is pertinent to mention that the foundation of the project was laid by Mrs. Indira Gandhi in early 80s and in spite of four decades, it is still under execution which is a very sad commentary on the importance of this plan even when it has been declared a national project.
Three generations of the state have wished this dream being realized since 1980 when it was first started. As per the officials associated closely with the project, there has been no funding problem and no technical deficit but unfortunately, the project continues to remain in limbo.
The Rs 11,000-crore project to take a railway line to Kashmir has the rate of progress of 170 metres per month and as per sources till recent past fallen to just 70 metres per month. The first official deadline to complete this stretch was 2005, and officials admit that two years later, they are no closer to completing it. Then the deadline was 2020 and now it has been set as 2021.
Officials divulge that the road links even in the hamlets and villages falling along the project route, have been completed and many other works are under progress. However, the construction work itself is getting affected because of the dilatory mode of functioning," sources said.
Meanwhile, if anyone wants to have a glimpse of the fate of the centrally funded projects, the Srinagar-Baramulla-Udhampur Railway line presents the best picture. “It is ironic that more than four decades are about to pass and the project is nowhere in sight. Will the government who promises massive development in the erstwhile state order probe over the reasons behind such unnatural delay in execution of the project. Why the officials who adopted the dilatory functioning mode have been spared. Why there has been no action against those at the helm who caused losses of thousands of crores of peoples’ money,” says a former government official associated with the project.
Meanwhile, now when a team of central ministers including the railway minister Piyush Goyal is visiting Jammu and Kashmir, hopes are high that the project otherwise put in a back burner will be executed and the deadline rhetoric will cease to exist.
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