RVNL seek PM’s intervention to arrive at a ‘solution’ to break Joka Metro land jinx

Kolkata (KOAA): Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to arrive at a ‘solution’ that continues to remain elusive even after a series of high-level meets between highly placed officials of all stake-holders.  RVNL has taken the matter to the highest forum — Prime Minister’s portal ‘Pragati’ — acquire a patch of land on the western fringes of Command Hospital complex for erecting a few piers to support the viaduct of the elevated corridor. Indian Army, the custodian of the hospital, has categorically declined to oblige, citing security concerns.

RVNL wants the western boundary wall of the hospital complex to recede a bit to accommodate the piers. “This would not require demolition of any building of the sprawling complex. The amount of linear patch of land does not exceed 8 cottahs,” said an RVNL official.

However, the Army does not want to part with this ‘premier land’. Command Hospital is the most important super-specialty healthcare institution for the jawans in eastern India. Naturally, Army does not want to compromise with the security of the land. But RVNL officials believe pushing back the wall a few feet would not affect the security of the complex.

This is not the first time that RVNL has knocked on the PM door over the issue. Just a few weeks ago, RVNL officers had posted the same problem on ‘Pragati’. Modi had then asked the stake-holders to resolve the issue mutually. This led to an inspection of the site and a series of meetings followed. The additional secretary (defence) flew down to Kolkata. State transport department officers also joined the inspection. A meeting was held at the office of the GoC-in-C of Eastern Command. There was another round of meeting at the chief secretary office where senior Army officers, RVNL and Metro officials discussed the issue at length in presence of top state government officers. But the matter remains unsolved.

Now, RVNL has once more the put the ball back in the Prime Minister’s court. The state government wants a speedy breakthrough as time over-run is escalating the cost substantially. “Both — construction of Metro rail and security of Army establishment — is of paramount importance. We are also trying our best to solve the issue,” said a government officer.

The state government has also put up its opinion on the issue on the Prime Minister’s portal. “We are also waiting with bated breath for an early intervention of the Prime Minister. Hopefully, the Prime Minister will intervene in the next review meeting,” a state government officer said.