NFR : EFFORTS ON TO IMPROVE RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURE IN NORTH-EAST

Government of India through Ministry of Railways is making all out efforts to improve connectivity in the North-Eastern region of India by providing better railway infrastructure. Average Annual Budget allocation for Infrastructure projects and safety works, falling fully/partly in Assam and North Eastern Region during 2014-19 has been enhanced to Rs. 5,531 crore per year from Rs. 2,122 crore per year during 2009-14. Thus, the average annual budget allocation during 2014-19 has increased to 261% of average annual budget allocation during 2009-14.

In comparison to 333 km length (66 km New Line, 257 km Gauge Conversion and 10 km Doubling) being commissioned in Assam and North Eastern Region, at an average annual rate of 67 km per year during 2009-14, 1223 km (231 km New Line, 972 km Gauge Conversion and 20 km Doubling) has been commissioned in Assam and North Eastern Region, at an average annual rate of 245 km per year, during 2014-19, which indicates   an increase of 267% in commissioning of lines during 2014-19.

For development of Assam and North Eastern Region, 20 projects (14 New Lines and 6 Doubling) costing Rs. 73,214 crore covering a length of 1,786 km, falling fully/partly in the Assam and North Eastern Region, are under different stages of planning/ approval/ execution. This includes:

14 New Line projects, covering a length of 1,303 km, costing Rs. 57,826 crore, out of which, commissioning of 333 km length has been achieved and an expenditure of Rs. 20,062 crore has been incurred upto March, 2019 and an outlay of Rs. 2828 crore has been provided for 2019-20. 

6 Doubling projects, covering a length of 483 km, costing Rs.15,388 crore, out of which, commissioning of 20 km length has been achieved and an expenditure of Rs.1,298 crore has been incurred upto March, 2019 and an outlay of Rs. 725 crore has been provided for 2019-20. 

Thorough review of throughput enhancement projects has been carried out and with focused approach, the projects have been prioritized into Super Critical, Critical and other throughput enhancement projects.  All out sincere and focused efforts are being made by Railway for quick execution of these projects so as to get early returns to Railway.

In the overall interest of the Nation and to ensure that projects are completed in time without cost overrun, 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 concerned authorities to resolve the pending issues that are obstructing the progress of projects.

The timely completion of any Railway project including projects of capital connectivity of North Eastern States 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, encountering unforeseen conditions like earthquake, flooding, excessive rains, strikes of labour, orders of Hon’ble Courts, situation and conditions of working agencies/contractors etc.  All these factors vary project to project and site to site, which affect the completion time and cost of the project, which is finally worked out at the completion stage. As such, exact completion time for projects cannot be assessed with accuracy at initial stage.

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