JAMSHEDPUR: With South Eastern Railway (SER) announcing that it will resume work for laying a third service line between Tatanagar and Kharagpur on the busy Howrah-Mumbai route, more than 100 families living in the outskirts of the Steel city fear they will be displaced by the project .
SER has identified 110 illegal residential structures that have come up within 25 meters from the existing railway track on the Salgajhuri-Govindpur-Tatanagar line in Jojobera and Krishanagar (in Telco area) for eviction.
“An eviction drive will be carried out soon,” said Bhaskar, SER’s Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (Chakradharpur), refraining from specifying the planned date for the drive.
Continuous protests by from house owners over 18 months have delayed the project and the rail authorities met senior state government officials and the district administration for a joint exercise to free the land from illegal occupants.
On Wednesday, SER general manager P R Mishra met chief minister Raghubar Das in Ranchi and discussed issues related to rail projects in the state. On Thursday the top zonal official and East Singhbhum DC Amit Kumar discussed the third rail line when the former was on visit to Chakradharpur division to assess the progress of the project.
The DC on Friday told a BJP delegation that affected people will be compensated with shelters under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna. “Resettlement of the displaced people will be done at every cost,” Kumar told BJP district president Dinesh Kumar. Sources in the divisional railway said a report on the progress of the work has to be submitted at the zonal headquarters by November 28 and the eviction drive would be carried out anytime before that.
In January, several unauthorized occupants were served notice from the Railways to vacate the land voluntarily by February 3, but none honoured the notice. The illegal occupants say they have been living at this place for more than five long decades and the local MLA and MP have contributed towards the development of the area all these years.
The third service line is aimed at addressing irregularities in train timings that run through Tatanagar. Over 80 trains, including 30 express trains, run through the Kharagpur-Tatanagar-Chakradharpur route.