| Participants at the meeting in Dhubri on Saturday. Telegraph picture
Dhubri, Dec. 11: The first phase of the New Moinaguri-Jogighopa Broad Gauge railway line project from New Cooch Behar of North Bengal to Golokganj of Dhubri district in Assam will be completed and commissioned by March 31 next year.
Deputy chief engineer (construction), Alipur railway division, Naveen Prakash, said this in a meeting convened by Dhubri deputy commissioner Sunil Dutta in his conference hall today.
Prakash spoke of progress of work from Chagolia to Golokganj, which comes under the administrative area of Dhubri district. He said prolonged rainy season had badly hampered construction of bridges. However, work is now on in full swing and the process of land acquisition is complete, he added. We are working overnight to complete the work and meet the deadline fixed earlier. There will be no further delay in this project, he assured the members of the New Moinaguri-Jogighopa BG Railway Line Demand Committee.
On the committees demand for a level crossing at Jhagrapar and a flyover at Gouripur, Prakash said if the railway division were to get the proposal from the committee forwarded by the district administration, then they would certainly consider it.
Briefing the demand committee on the progress in land acquisition for the project, the Dhubri deputy commissioner said there were 58 land acquisition cases in five revenue circles of Dhubri district. Of these, 1,979 bighas, two kathas and 16 lechas from 40 cases have been handed over to the railway department.
Three land cases are lying pending for revised estimation while five cases are being sorted out in Chapor, but all the land needed for the first phase of railway work from Chagolia has been handed over to the railway department, Dutta said. The rest of the land from Gouripur to Bhahalpur in Dhubri will be handed over by the end of this month, Dutta said.
The joint convenor of the demand committee, Tazmul Haque, resented the delay in completing the first phase of the project from New Cooch Behar to Golokganj and said the railway project was running behind schedule. The March 31 deadline appears to be a Herculean task, as approach roads of many bridges have not been constructed yet and tracks are to be laid from the Golokganj bridge over the Gangadhar to Golokganj Railway Station. The rainy season cannot be the only excuse for the delay in completion of the project as deadlines were fixed several times and changed later, he added.
Senior members of the demand committee, Paritosh Chanda, former deputy Speaker Giasuddin Ahmed, Tripath Nath Chakraborty and Parsuram Dubey were present at the meeting. They mounted pressure on the railway department to meet the deadline.
Dhubri additional deputy commissioner N.F.H. Hussain said the railway department had released Rs 237,382,105, of which Rs 188,550,256 was already released to the land owners as compensation.
The Dhubri district administration has asked for additional funds of Rs 14,82,26,757 from the railway department to pay compensation to the rest of the land owners.