Minister of state for railways, K H Muniyappa, said the Centre would provide all facilities to ensure speedy and timely completion of all pending railway projects in Bihar.
"The railways ministry portfolio has returned to the Congress after 16 years. We will provide at least Rs. 40,000 crore after 2012, during the 12th fiveyear Plan period for construction work and timely completion of projects," said Muniyappa.
Talking to mediapersons here on Sunday after visiting Katihar, Darbhanga and Samastipur areas, the MoS said he had discussed with chief minister Nitish Kumar the rail-cum-road bridges proposed in Patna (Digha) and Munger. Notably, the projects are already running late by a few years.
"The Bihar government is bearing 46% of the cost of these projects while our share is 54%. Kumar has sought some more funds and timely completion of the projects. I have assured to provide funds after March 2013 and will also try to get the projects completed quickly," Muniyappa added.
On being queried about the transfer of land to the state government in Patna-Digha line for construction of road to ease traffic congestion in Patna, the Union minister said, "Land in lieu of land is good. Talking about cost in not necessary. The state government has said that it is ready to pay money. We need land for the development of Hajipur station and will soon decide whether to take money or land. We also work to serve the people and care about their convenience,” Muniyappa said.
It may be noted that it is a long pending demand of the road construction department (RCD) and has been stuck due to the railways’ insistence on having land in exchange at either Patna or Hajipur. RCD sources said the state government has offered land to the railways at Digha on the outskirts of Patna and also Nabinagar in Aurangabad district in exchange for the required land.
Muniyappa said the railways has done a lot of work in Bihar in the last 20-25 years and added more than 1,000 kilometres route between 2004 and 2012.
He also spoke about various pending railway projects, such as electric locomotive unit at Madhepura and diesel locomotive unit at Saran, among others.
They will be given priority, as well as more funds to ensure their early completion, he added. The railway minister said a number of projects like the carriage repair shop at Harnaut in Nalanda district, demu shed at Sonepur, rail wheel plant at Chapra, C-category unloadable repair workshop at Samastipur and Patliputra Station in Patna were ready for inauguration, adding that work for modernisation of A, B, and C class stations in the state would begin soon.
Muniyappa lauded East Central Railway (ECR) general manager B P Khare for his commendable work. Several railway officials and RCD secretary Pratyaya Amrit were present on the occasion.