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No land yet: 2 Railway projects delayed

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Bhubaneswar: In a major development, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has submitted the requirement of land to the State Government for two important projects expediting the process for the works.

For the 37.56 km Jeypore-Nabarangpur line, it has submitted a land requirement of 750 acres whereas for the Narla Electric Engine Project, about 240 acre land has been indicated. This marks a departure from the past when the Railways was responsible for land acquisition.

Earlier, the Railways used to appoint a special land acquisition officer who dealt with the land requirement issue.

However, as per the memorandum of understanding, Railway and State Government will have equal responsibilities. While the Railways will bear half of the construction cost, the Government will bear the entire cost of land. Now that the ECoR has furnished the details of land requirement, so it is the state government’s responsibility because acquisition remains the single biggest problem for progress of the projects. In 2016-17, when Ministry of Railways sanctioned the Jeypore-Nabarangpur line, the cost was estimated at Rs 747.91 crore. The project was targeted to be completed in three years.

The broad gauge line is important considering it brings connectivity to Nabarangpur district with an existing station on Kottavalasa-Kirandul line. This rail line will provide connectivity to Koraput, Jeypore, Jagdalpur and Dantewada. It will also connect Nabarangpur to Junagarh and result in cutting travel time to Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.Both Jeypore-Nabarangpur project and Narla Electric Engine Periodic Overhauling Workshop are located in backward regions and expected to bring in development.

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