Member of Parliament from Indore and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has put her weight behind early implementation of Indore-Manmad rail line project.
Mahajan will soon call a meeting of MPs from Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra at her New Delhi residence to resolve the deadlock over the project implementation. "Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu will also be present," a person familiar with the development said.
While the railway ministry had sanctioned the Indore-Manmad rail line project in March 2013, the implementation of the project has been stuck mainly due to financial reasons.
As per terms and conditions, the Union government will bear 50% of the project cost while the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra will contribute 25% each.
Even as Maharasthra and the Union government have agreed to give their shares, but project is on hold as Madhya Pradesh government is yet to give its consent.
According to estimates, the project cost has escalated to Rs 4,000 crore. The rail distance between Indore and Manmad is about 339km of which 192km track will be in Maharashtra and 147km track will be in Madhya Pradesh.
In December last year, Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court had pulled up the state government for delay in implementation of Indore-Manmad project. Hearing a PIL, the court had observed that the project is crucial for development of tribal areas of Malwa-Nimar and should not be delayed for any reason.
The railway line is important because it will reduce the travel time between Indore and Mumbai. Moreover, distance between Mumbai-New Delhi will also decrease to 1,406 km from 1,542 km.
"The project is crucial from the industry point of view as it will make transportation of goods between Indore and Mumbai cheaper and also reduce the travel time," Pithampur industry association president Gautam Kothari said.