RAILWAY MINISTER Lalu Prasad Yadav is ready to expedite work on pending rail projects in Madhya Pradesh but on one condition — the Shivraj Government should chip in 50 per cent of the project cost. The State Government has, of course, turned down the offer.
In a letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Lalu sought the State ‘help’ in completing the ongoing railway projects worth about Rs 3200 crore. A number of projects are pending in Madhya Pradesh and work on them is tardy.
Lalu Yadav’s letter is an indication that his ministry is not going to complete these projects soon.
The pending rail projects include Lalitpur-Singrauli line; Indore-Dahod line; Ramgunjmandi-Bhopal; and conversion of Gondiya-Jabalpur and Ratlam-Khandwa narrow gauge into broad gauge lines.
Bureaucratic circle here is surprised as to why Yadav should put such a condition on the State for completing the projects essentially the railway ministry’s responsibility.
Yadav said that without State’s contribution, his ministry could not ensure timely completion of the projects. The Chief Minister is likely to write back to Yadav, turning down the proposal. Confirming the letter, Principal Secretary, Transport, M K Roy told Hindustan Times that the railway minister has made the plea that as his ministry is short of funds, the State Government should contribute equally to meet the cost of the projects.