Tuesday, March 26, 2013

'Since Railways do not have funds, work not in progress'

LUCKNOW: A banner at an under-construction building in the Cantonment area highlights the state of a railway project in a rather unique way. The contractor has put up a banner at the building which reads, "This work is being done by Northern Railways. Since Railways do not have funds, work is not in progress". The state of the project has been so blatantly highlighted that even railway officials cannot deny shortage of funds, which has put the project in limbo.

The building is an upcoming hostel for nurses. Construction has been on at the place for the last about one year. But, two months ago the work got halted. The aggrieved contractor put up a banner at the place to attract the attention of railway officials. Sources shared that the project was sanctioned in 2010-11 and Railways got Rs 50 lakh for the construction of a 30-bedded hostel. "Some Rs 20 lakh has already been paid," said sources.

However, what halted the project mid-way was the change in the construction design. Officials said the initial design which was sanctioned, and for which railways got Rs 50 lakh, was found to be faulty later on. And, the re-worked plan has seen a major cost variation and for which it needs a fresh sanction. As per the new plan, the three-storey hostel may see an addition of few more storeys.

The project had encountered problem in the past also due to the change in the design. Sources said, "The payment could not be made till the fresh sanction comes. The cost of project has escalated to more than 70 lakh," and added that it is not only the change in design, but the delay which has escalated the cost of the project. "We are working on the problem and it will be sorted out soon," said senior DCM, NR, Lucknow division Ashwini Srivastava, when contacted by TOI.


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