Delay by AP and TS for Broad Gauge works between Bhadrachalam-Sattupalli-Kovvur leads to Cost Escalation by Rs.600 Cr.

The Railways has requested Andhra Pradesh to agree to a change of alignment for the project in Telangana state and align it with the Bhadrachalam-Sattupalli line which has been sanctioned with the use of Singareni Collieries funds.

SECUNDERABAD: Delay in beginning work on the broad gauge line between Bhadrachalam, Sattupalli and Kovvur by the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments has led to an increase in cost by Rs 600 crore. The Centre had sanctioned the broad gauge line in 2012-13 at an estimated cost of Rs 922 crore. The cost of the project today is Rs 1,500 crore.

The line is 150.9-km long. Around 78.5 km is in Telangana state and 72.4 km in Andhra Pradesh. The line goes through West Godavari in AP and Khammam, Karimnagar and Adilabad districts in TS. After the state was bifurcated, the two state governments agreed to share the cost of the project, with each paying for the portion of the line in their state. Accordingly, the Telangana state government’s share is Rs 239.82 crore and the AP government’s share is Rs 221.18 crore, based on the estimated cost of Rs 922 crore at the time the project was sanctioned.

The Railways says that the total cost of the project has now increased to around Rs 1,500 crore, increase of Rs 10 crore per kilometre. AP is exploring the possibility of tapping the ports and other industries in the state to contribute. The Railways has requested Andhra Pradesh to agree to a change of alignment for the project in Telangana state and align it with the Bhadrachalam-Sattupalli line which has been sanctioned with the use of Singareni Collieries funds.

This will save around 20 km in Telangana state and the cost of the project will accordingly go down.  The Telangana state government has not yet given its consent for sharing cost even though it had agreed to that originally. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently reviewed the project with both state governments under the Pragathi programme. The review has revealed the issues and difficulties in taking up this project.

The consent of the Telangana state government is required for a common alignment from Bhadrachalam to Chandragonda station. Consent for 50 per cent cost sharing from both AP and Telangana state governments is required. A final location survey has yet to be completed by the ministry of railways. With regard to the line between Bhadrachalam and Sattupalli, South Central Railways has deposited Rs 68.56 crore for land acquisition.

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