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POH workshop gets stuck in land issue

POH workshop gets stuck in land issue
Highlights

Got stuck in land issues, the periodic over-hauling (POH) workshop mooted to establish in Kazipet is in danger of fizzling out like the first two –...

Kazipet: Got stuck in land issues, the periodic over-hauling (POH) workshop mooted to establish in Kazipet is in danger of fizzling out like the first two – coach factory as far back as in 1982 and wagon factory in 2010 – at the proposal stage itself.

It seems that the message is loud and clear from the Railways that unless the State government steps up its effort to complete land acquisition near Kazipet for establishing the proposed POH workshop at the earliest, it likely to do away with the proposal or shift it to some other location.

If that happens, it could be a huge blow for the region’s people, who hitherto had a bitter experience of losing a railway coach factory, proposed at Kazipet in 1982, to Kapurtala in Punjab. Thereafter the Railways, which sanctioned a wagon factory on a public-private partnership and released Rs 15 crore in its 2010-11 budget took a U-turn.

Considering the dire necessity of the POH in the South Central Railway (SCR) Zone, the Railways had decided to set up a POH unit at Kazipet in 2016-17 with an outlay of Rs 269 crore with Railway Vikas Nigam as its executing agency. Moreover, the Railways had allocated Rs 200 crore for the workshop in the current financial year so that to complete the construction by March 2019. The project is likely to generate direct and indirect employment to more than 3,000 people.

It may be mentioned here that the SCR zone, which has three electric loco sheds - Vijayawada, Secunderabad and Kazipet, didn’t even has a single POH workshop in its region. As a result, the locomotives, which require overhauling, are being sent to the workshops located at Bhusawal, Perambur, Chittaranjan etc. that are well over 700 km.

The Warangal Urban district administration, which earmarked 160 acres near Ayodhyapuram village adjacent to Kazipet railway station, had so far acquired 54 acres from the endowments department. But the problem they have to contend with is acquiring land from the local farmers.

Against this standoff, the Railway authorities reportedly sought clarification from the Chief Secretary of Telangana SK Joshi with respect to handing over land for the POH.

Further the Railways made it clear that based on the State government’s response, it will take a call – either to move the project to another location or to utilise the sanctioned funds for its other purposes. Speaking to The Hans India, Warangal West MLA D Vinay Bhaskar said: “Efforts are on to clear the standoff by convincing the farmers. The issue will be taken to the notice of Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K T Rama Rao to find a viable solution.” Further, he expressed confidence that very soon the work on POH would get underway.

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