Land acquisition for rly projects expedited

According to official sources, the Revenue department recently directed all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to accord top priority for the implementation of railway projects and appoint a special officer exclusively for acquiring land. The DCs have also been directed to ensure that the land acquisition processes are completed by next month end.

The move will help expedite implementation of about nine ongoing railway projects taken up on cost-sharing basis (cost of the projects are shared between the Railways and the State government on a 50:50 ratio. Besides, the State government is providing land free of cost for many of these projects to the Railways.

These projects are: Ramanagar-Mysore (doubling), Bangalore-Hassan (new line), Kadur-Chikmagalur (new line), Kolar-Chikkaballapur (gauge conversion), Bidar-Gulbarga (new line), Kottur-Harihar (new line), Kuduchi-Bagalkot (new line), Tumkur-Rayadurga (new line) and Munirabad-Mehaboobnagar (new line).

Work on many of these projects, sources said, had suffered mainly due to delay in land acquisition. The delay had, in turn, led to cost overrun. Delay in completion of land acquisition processes was one of the main complaints of the Railways against the government. To put an end to this, the State government has set December-end deadline to complete the processes and hand over the lands, officials added.

The government has already handed over nearly 1,093.17 acres of land to the Railways in the last six months, and another 1,399.34 acres are required for these projects.

Besides, the government has urged the Railways to de-centralise the process of finalising and approving project alignments and entrust the task to the zonal office. This will not only help the government officials to coordinate with the zonal officials, but also ensure speedy acquisition of land, sources said.

On fast track

* Govt to hand over lands required for cost-sharing railway projects by December
* Special officers appointed for acquiring land
* Nine projects to benefit
* Govt has already handed over 1,093.17 acres of land to the Railways
* Remaining 1,399.34 acres will be handed over by the end of next month

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