Junior railway minister Adhir Chowdhury on Thursday published a report card on railway projects in Bengal announced during Mamata Banerjee’s stint at Rail Bhavan and alleged that her government was not clearing hurdles threatening to trip the schemes.
“The chief minister has been making tall claims on her achievements as railway minister. We want the people of Bengal to know about Mamata Banerjee’s doublespeak and that is why we have brought out this status paper. After her party left the Union government, the state government has been creating problems for the projects she had announced as railway minister,” Chowdhury told Metro on Thursday.
He alleged that the Trinamul government was not taking any initiative to resolve the land issues that have stalled key Metro rail projects at various stages. “The chief minister had only made empty promises. She ignored established norms for announcing projects, because of which they are not heading anywhere,” he said.
Mukul Roy, former railway minister and all-India general secretary of the Trinamul Congress, denied the allegations. “The projects were conceived with Bengal’s interest in mind. The Congress-led government at the Centre has not only denied Bengal its share of funds but is also posing problems for the projects,” said Roy.
Chowdhury said the railways could not wash its hands of the projects but question marks over their feasibility remain.
Metro had earlier highlighted the problems faced by the various Metro projects in the city.
Excerpts from Adhir’s report card on Metro projects:
Work started: January 2011
Original deadline: March 2014
Progress: 15 per cent
Permission from various state departments is pending.
MoU between the irrigation department and Metro Railway for starting work on irrigation department land is yet to be signed.
About 500 hutments encroaching on Eastern Railway land are yet to be removed
Work started: July 2011
Original deadline: March 2016
Progress: 26 per cent
Permission from government departments is pending
A 25-hectare land is required for the Joka depot.
Three 132 KV (power supply) lines on approach from Joka station to the depot are to be diverted by West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (WBSETCL).
About 250 hutments between Joka and Majerhat are yet to be relocated
Pipes and sewage channels of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation are yet to be shifted
Central government permission is pending.
Calcutta Port Trust land is required on lease for a period between 33 years and 100 years. The shipping ministry’s permission on the proposed lease is awaited.
The defence ministry’s approval is required for swapping of land with Eastern Railway plots in possession of the defence ministry.
Work started: January 2012
Original deadline: March 2016
Progress: 5 per cent
Permission of various state government departments are pending.
No-objection certificates from the East Calcutta Wetland Management Authority and the fisheries department are awaited.
CESC cables need to be shifted from one part of Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority land to another. The land where the cables will be shifted is low-lying and the CMDA is yet to level it.
WBSETCL is yet to shift high-voltage towers.
The city civic body’s permission to construct a viaduct on their land is awaited.
The CMC is yet to remove two abandoned water pipes.