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SCR fails to use budget properly

SCR fails to use budget properly
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Highlights

The South Central Railway (SCR) fails to utilise a major portion of the Railway budget during 2015-16. Out of the Rs 319 crore allotted in 2015-16 budget for doubling/ tripling works only Rs 232 crore was utilised. The reasons for under-utilisation cited by the authorities include land acquisition and procedural issues.

This results in many projects pending

  • Only 118.20 km line was completed throughout SCR zone in 2015-16
  • Only `85 crore out of the allotted `210 crore for MMTS- Phase II utilized

Hyderabad: The South Central Railway (SCR) fails to utilise a major portion of the Railway budget during 2015-16. Out of the Rs 319 crore allotted in 2015-16 budget for doubling/ tripling works only Rs 232 crore was utilised. The reasons for under-utilisation cited by the authorities include land acquisition and procedural issues.

Several projects that originate in the Telangana region and spill over into Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are still lumbering on. Some of the projects date back to 1993 and have still not reached the last stage. For instance, in the Peddapalli- Karimnagar- Nizamabad, 178 km line work from Armoor to Nizamabad still remains to be completed.

Under the Krishna- Devarakonda project, 65 km of 176 km falls in Telangana and remaining in Karnataka, of which just 32 km is complete. The project was sanctioned way back in 1997. In several cases even after survey was completed, land acquisition takes a lot of time. A project sanctioned in 1997-98, Macherla- Nalgonda (81 km) line the detailed estimates are to be sanctioned and land acquisition has to be completed.

The prestigious MMTS Phase II project is moving at snail’s pace due to land acquisition and clearances. Out of the Rs 210 crore allotted in the 2015-16 budget, only Rs 85 crore was utilised. Many projects though sanctioned years back are still in survey stage or are yet to be approved after the submission of the report. Final survey for the Bhadrachalam- Kovvur (151 km) line sanctioned in 2012-13 is underway.

For this project 50 per cent of the cost would be shared between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. This is probably the first project where both states would be sharing the cost. Once implemented, this could become an alternate route to Bhadrachalam and make the commute to Rajahmundry nearer.

There are projects where no work was possible such as Kondapalli- Kothagudam (125 km), sanctioned in 2013-14, Medak-Akkanapet (17 km) sanctioned in 2012-13, Manguru-Ramagundam for coal belt (199 km). For all these projects the final survey is going on.

In terms of budgetary allowances for important ongoing new-line projects, Rs 141 crore was allotted for the Pedapalli- Karimnagar- Nizamabad project. In the financial year 2014-15, Rs 723 crore expenditure was incurred and the revised budget grant is Rs 169 crore for 2015-16. A senior railway official on condition of anonymity said that it is a high priority project and needs to be completed.

The new projects sanctioned for SCR in the last budget included four doubling, three tripling and one new railway line project at a length of 1,197 km. The revised budget grant for pending new line projects, pending doubling, tripling and electrification works together is pegged at Rs 475 crore in the revised budget grant for the financial year 2015-16.

The line that reduces time & distance
Once the Jaggayyapet-Mellacheruvu-Janpahad, a 20 km stretch is complete, it would reduce the time between Vijayawada and Secunderabad by three hours and distance by 100 km. The Vishnupuram- Janpahad section would be thrown open in this financial year, say officials as just another 16 km work is remaining.

Once it is commissioned, it would be an alternate line between Vijayawada and Secunderabad which would bypass Kazipet, Waranagal and Khammam and thereby reduce the running time considerably. However, it would be a single line.

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