AWB Railway station modernisation plan set to miss deadline

AURANGABAD: The fate of phase-II of model railway station is gone for a toss, after it was sanctioned only Rs.2 Cr. in this year’s railway budget. The railways had sought Rs.5 Cr. to complete the phase-II of the project to convert the old Aurangabad railway station into a Model Railway Station (MRS).
010The plan for a modern railway station at Aurangabad was first proposed in 2003 by the then Union railway minister Nitish Kumar, looking at the city’s growth potential and tourism and industrial destinations within Marathwada region.

Though the plan remained on paper till 2009, it was given the much needed impetus by the ministry in 2010. Phase-I of the project was hastily inaugurated in March 2012, but some works for it are yet to be completed. The phase-II of the project was supposed to start immediately thereafter, but it could not be launched due to unavailability of the required funds.

The railways spent Rs 6.5 crore for the construction of the phase-I and the division forwarded a proposal seeking an additional Rs 5 crore needed for completing phase-II by 2013.

A senior official at the Nanded Divisional Railway office said, “We required an amount of Rs 5 crore for the completion of Phase-II of the model railway station, but in the railway budget 2013-14, we were allotted only Rs 2 crore. This amount will be utilised to bring basic facilities including accelerator and lift for the phase-I”.

He added that the delay in getting the required funds would increase the overall cost of the project.

A statement from the official indicates that Phase-II of the project would have to wait for a year to kick-start.

Sunil Singh Soin, Nanded divisional manager had earlier announced that it will be ensured that even phase-III of the model railway station is completed by 2015.

But with the unavailability of the funds, the project looks set to miss the deadline once again.