Work on Beas-Qadian rail track shelved due to fund shortage - ECAS Punjab

Work on Beas-Qadian rail track shelved due to fund shortage

Share This

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Qadian, December 13

Regular protests by farmers against acquisition of their land and paucity of funds on the part of the Punjab Government have combined to sound the death knell of the strategically important 40-km-long Qadian-Beas rail link, one of the most talked about projects of the district.

The rail linkage was vital in many respects. Beas is the headquarters of the Radha Soami sect while Qadian houses the Ahmadiyya community's international headquarters. The venture could have placed Batala on the high speed Amritsar-Delhi line thus proving to be a boon for industrialists as far as connectivity with the national capital was concerned. It would also have facilitated the smooth movement of armed forces in the border area.

In 2010, the then Rail Minister Mamata Banerjee, acting on a request made by MP Partap Singh Bajwa, had sanctioned the track under the socially desirable rail connectivity proposals scheme. At that time, its cost was pegged at Rs 205.22 crore and work was envisaged to be completed by 2024. The cost has now escalated to a whopping Rs 840 crore. Half the amount was to be paid by the Punjab Government in the form of a matching grant which, in any case, is not forthcoming.

Qadian MLA Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa said at present, Qadian and Beas towns were connected by a circuitous route. He said he would take up the issue with CM Capt Amarinder Singh. The fact that the project had been shelved would not have come to light but for the efforts of Batala resident Jagjot Singh Sandhu. Sandhu had written to the Railways asking for information about the track's progress. The answer he got was "work has been kept in abeyance". The distance between Qadian and Beas would have been reduced to 28 km from the present 58 km.

Project cost escalated to Rs 840 crore

  • In 2010, the then Rail Minister Mamata Banerjee had sanctioned the track under the socially desirable rail connectivity proposals scheme. At that time, its cost was pegged at Rs 205.22 crore
  • The cost had now escalated to a whopping Rs 840 crore. Half the amount was to be paid by the Punjab Government in the form of a matching grant which, in any case, was not forthcoming


from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3nfrily

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pages