दुर्गावती Durgawati (DGO): The 66km Durgawati-New Karwandia section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) in Bihar, which was to be commissioned in March 2014, has been delayed by over seven months, mainly due to just three cases of land acquisition difficulties involving small stretches of land in Rohtas district.
All the civil works on Durgawati-New Karwandia section have already been completed in a 66km stretch, barring a few small stretches in Rohtas district where land could not be acquired as the project-affected persons have not accepted the award by arbitrator. A stretch of 300-metre land is not available for track- laying work at village Basa, 700-metre land is not available at village Dhanpurwa and a temple on the alignment near Sasaram railway station needs to be shifted, Ministry of Railways has pointed out in a letter to Union cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth. Seth has asked Bihar government to take necessary steps to resolve the land acquisition issues.
The 1,839km EDFC, extending from Dankuni in West Bengal to Ludhiana in Punjab, is being executed by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL), a railway undertaking. Being a key infrastructure project, its progress is being monitored at the highest level, including Prime Minister Office (PMO).
Sources in state government said, the Centre wanted an early date to begin trial run of goods trains on Mughalsarai-Durgawati-New Karwandia-Sonnagar section. But the DFCCIL is not able to complete the tracks due to non-acquisition of small stretches of land in Rohtas district and non-completion of approach road for a new road overbridge (ROB) near Bhabhua Road railway station in Kaimur district.
In September, Chairman, Railway Board, had sent a demi-official letter to Bihar chief secretary requesting him to expedite resolution of the land acquisition issues. Contacted over phone, DFCCIL’s chief project manager, Allahabad (East), Anamul Haque, who was also in-charge of Mughalsarai field unit till recently, on Saturday said the track-laying work had been left incomplete at Basa and Dhanpurwa village due to non-acquisition of land. He said the railways had already paid compensation for shifting of a temple near Sasaram station, but it was yet to be done. “Earlier, we were provided a plot near the station for shifting of temple. We built a new temple building up to roof level. But it has to be dismantled, as the district administration, under pressure from local people, changed its decision and asked us to build temple on another plot. We have now paid some monetary compensation even to some encroachers for vacating the new plot,” Haque told.
Rohtas District Magistrate Mr.Sandip Kumar R Pudakalkatti said, “The temple removal was an issue earlier, not now. It has been resolved. The temple will be shifted soon. The issue of 700-metre land at Dhanpurwa has also been resolved.” He said the issue of land at village Basa could not be resolved because the villagers had moved the Patna high court against award of compensation. The high court recently directed the DFCCIL to deposit compensation amount in civil court and asked villagers to approach the civil court. “We hope theBasa issue will also be resolved soon,” the DM said.