Cost overrun halts RoB project in Odisha- The New Indian Express www.newindianexpress.com

www.newindianexpress.com

By Express News Service

BHAWANIPATNA: Kesinga on Wednesday observed a shutdown protesting the delay in construction of a railway overbridge (RoB) or underbridge (RuB) on NH-26 passing through the town. The project is stuck in a tussle between the Centre and State over, bearing land acquisition cost. The bandh called by Kesinga Coordination Committee saw markets, banks and other establishments closed during the day. Emergency services were kept out of the bandh purview. 

Citizens under the Committee also stopped the ongoing construction work for the third track. They said work on the third railway track in the Kesinga station will be allowed only after the RoB/RuB is constructed.
They alleged, due to heavy rail traffic on Vizianagaram-Raipur route, the railway level crossing at Kesinga remained closed for almost 12 hours a day. As a result, the vehicular traffic on NH-26 and inside Kesinga town is perennially affected. 

Adding to the problem is the upcoming third railway line in Kesinga station after the construction of which, railway traffic would further increase and traffic on NH-26 will be paralysed.The demand for RoB/RuB is long due but a tug of war between the Centre and State over bearing the land acquisition cost has halted any movement in the direction. The RoB/RuB at Kesinga was sanctioned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in March 2016 and Rs 205.7 crore was earmarked of which, land acquisition expenditure was fixed at Rs 6.76 crore. 

Even after three years, the State Government could not begin work on it compelling the Centre, in a letter to the State Works Secretary  on August 5,2019, to ask the former to bear the cost overrun of land acquisition.In his reply to the Ministry on January 13, 2020, Additional Secretary of Works Department said during preparation of project estimate by a consultant hired by the Ministry, the actual cost of land acquisition was not evaluated. 

He wrote that at least Rs 57.91 crore is required for the work which is much more than the sanctioned estimate and since the NH-26 is being used by people of three states – Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh – the cost of RoB/RuB be borne by the Ministry. The State Government  has also sought revalidation for RoB/RuB proposal at Kesinga be sanctioned at the earliest so that tender can be floated.

PROJECT DETAILS
The RoB/RuB at Kesinga was sanctioned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2016 and Rs 205.7 crore was earmarked of which, land acquisition expenditure was fixed at Rs 6.76 crore

Even after three years, the State Government could not begin work on it compelling the Centre to ask the former to bear the cost overrun of land acquisition



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