Indian Railways plans drive against encroachments

The decision is aimed at keeping land for captive use in future when the demand for additional infrastructure is required

New Delhi: The Indian Railways has decided to construct new lines on the extreme sides of the existing tracks to prevent encroachers occupying its land, even as the road transport ministry dropped the idea after finding it impractical for safety reasons.

The decision is aimed at keeping land for captive use in future when the demand for additional infrastructure is required. It will also help the public sector entity get rid of hassles of land acquisition at higher cost.

“We have now decided that third line will be a line which will be on the side. What we will do is that it will be either extreme left or right and we will leave enough space in between so that when there is demand for fourth line it comes in-between and we do not have to go for land acquisition,” Railway Board Chairman A.K. Mital said.

Speaking to RailNews, a senior civil engineer with the railways said that once a railway track is laid, the prices of land along it go up, making land acquisition in future a very expensive affair. “Besides, once land along the railway track is illegally encroached and people make permanent settlements the re, removing them becomes big challenge,” he said.

The idea to leave land in the middle of the project was first mooted by prime minister Narendra Modi in a meeting to review infrastructure development in the country. This was provided as solution to check the menace of encroachment along the rail and highway stretches. The idea, however, fell on technical parameters.

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