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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 1079
ANSWERED ON:  02.03.2015
GAUGE CONVERSION WORK
SANJAY SHAMRAO DHOTRE
Will the Minister of



RAILWAYS be pleased to state:-




(a) whether the Railways have proposed to grant gauge conversion work between Amlakhurd-Akot rail line;

(b) if so, the details and the present status thereof along with the expenditure incurred on maintenance and upkeeping of the old lines between the said section during each of the last three years and the current year;

(c) the time by which the gauge conversion work of the said section is likely to be completed;

(d) the details of the funds provided by the Railways for gauge conversion of the said section since approval of the project along with its utilization;

(e) the details of the pending and completed gauge conversion work in the country and the reasons of such pendency, State/zone-wise; and

(f) the steps taken/being taken by the Railways to give momentum to the gauge conversion work of the said section?


ANSWER


MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS (SHRI MANOJ SINHA)

(a) to (f): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.

STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (f) OF UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1079 BY SHRI SANJAY DHOTRE TO BE ANSWERED IN LOK SABHA ON 02.03.2015 REGARDING GAUGE CONVERSION WORK

(a), (b) & (d): Gauge conversion of Amlakhurd- Akot Section has been taken up as a part of Ratlam-Mhow-Khandwa-Akola project (473 km) sanctioned at an anticipated cost of ` 1421 crore. An expenditure of ` 344 crore has been incurred upto March 2014 and an outlay of ` 90 crore has been provided in Budget 2014-15. Further, outlay of ` 400 crore has been proposed in Budget 2015- 16. Due to huge throwforward of ongoing projects and overall availability of funds, the project has been taken up in phases from Ratlam end and work in Ratlam-Fatehabad-Indore (120 km) section has been completed.

Amlakhurd-Akot section involves Melghat Tiger Reserve. Initially, alternative alignment by-passing the Tiger Reserve was proposed. But, as the diverted alignment was resulting into abnormal increase in cost of the project, besides prolonging the time of construction due to involvement of a new 6.6 km tunnel, railway has proposed to execute the gauge conversion of this section on the existing metre gauge alignment, and a request in this regard has been made to Depart- ment of Forest, Government of Maharashta in December, 2014. Gauge conversion works cannot be under taken in the absence of necessary forestry clearances.

An expenditure of ` 6.85 crore has been incurred on maintenance and up keeping of Amlakhurd-Akot existing metre gauge section in the last three years and current year.

(c): Time frame for completion of the project cannot be given due to a large shelf of ongoing projects, limited overall availability of funds and forestry clearance issue.

(e): Since Independence, 22667 km of Gauge Conversion has been completed till March, 2014. 42 ongoing gauge conversion projects covering a length of 9827 km have been taken up in the country. As the State-wise project detail is not maintained, Zone-wise detail is as under:

S. No. Zonal Railway Kilometres 1 East Central 686 2 Eastern 161 3 North Central 428 4 North Eastern 1471 5 Northeast Frontier 1717 6 North Western 999 7 South East Central 723 8 South Eastern 485 9 Southern 1139 10 South Western 148 11 Western 1870 Total 9827
(f): Due to a large shelf of ongoing projects and competing priorities, it has not been possible for railways to provide adequate funds to all the projects on regular basis. A number of initiatives have been taken to generate additional resources through non- budgetary measures like funding by State Govern- ments and other beneficiaries, execution of projects through Special Purpose Vehicle basis, debt, etc. To reduce delays on account of land acquisition, security issues and forestry clearances etc, meetings with Central Government & State Government at various levels are also held from time to time.

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