Slums thwart vital Railway project

Slums thwart vital Railway project

They have encroached land at end points

The encroachment of a land by jhuggi dwellers has stalled an ambitious railway project to construct a nearly 3-km-long grade separator (elevated double rail line) in the heart of the Capital.

The grade separator is aimed at improving train operations on the Delhi-Rohtak line and the Delhi Avoiding line between Daya Basti and Shakur Basti railway stations.

However, around 2,000 jhuggis spread over a length of 1,000 metres near the take-off and descent points of the proposed grade separator, which has brought the project to standstill.

Sources in the railway said while 50 per cent of the work is already done, the cost of project is likely to shoot up to Rs 149 crore from the originally sanctioned Rs 54.15 crore.

“The project was sanctioned by the railway ministry in 1999-2000. The department has already spent around Rs 40 crore out of Rs 54.15 crore till March 2012.

“The project cost would escalate manifold in the wake of the the delay in work due to the encroachement.

“Moreover, the department can’t fix a deadline for the project in view of this problem,” a senior railway official said.  

Railway officials said presently the Delhi Avoiding line (used by goods trains) crosses the main Dehi-Rohtak line at two places between Daya Basti and Shakur Basti stations, leading to bunching of trains on both the lines which disrupts normal train operations.

“As per the proposed the grade separator, the Delhi Avoiding line would take off after leaving Patel Nagar station.

“The elevated line would cross the main line (Delhi-Rohtak line) towards Shakur Basti before descending to meet the existing track near Wazirpur depot,” said the official.    

While the railway officials remain tight-lipped over why they did not check the encroachment in the first place, they blame Delhi government for not acting upon the jhuggis despite the fact that railways has provided compensation in lieu of resettlement six years back. “Railway has already paid Rs 11.25 crore towards the resettlement of the then existing jhuggi in 2005 by the J J Slum development board.

“However no action has been taken by the Delhi government on the issue and the cluster of jhuggis has increased further,” a railway official said.

The length of the double line grade separator is 3.075 km. The entire project involves construction of double line railway track consisting of viaduct and and embankment with retaining wall. The project has four bridges including one railway under bridge, rail track flyover and two nallah bridges.

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