In an apparent attack on his predecessors, railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Friday said that various announcements for projects in response to MPs has led to a situation where there is "humongous" throw-forward of projects in physical as well as financial terms.
"...Railways is one department where we have been making various announcements for new projects in response to vociferous demands raised by members from time to time."
"That has landed us in a situation, we must all admit today, where there is a humongous throw-forward of projects, both in physical terms and, concomitantly, in financial terms," he said in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
He said large number of projects that "we have, the financial spread-over of the projects has, indeed, been very thin, the reasons for which are known..."
As a result, he said, "We have found it extremely difficult to complete the projects at the pace at which we would want them to be completed".
The minister said that for 347 projects under three categories – new lines, gauge conversion and doubling – still Rs 1,47,187 crore is required.
He said that when a project is announced, the first step is to work out a rough estimate of the amount pertaining to a project and, then a demand is made and that is brought before Parliament.
Thereafter, in-principle clearance is given and that is the second stage which could be a year-and-a-half or two years and after that the actual amount is worked out, he said.
Bansal also said that work projects "is going on strictly according to the allocations made".
Referring to his meeting with officers of the railway board, the minister said it was discussed that "we must really work out" a priority for the projects which are complete to the extent of more than 50%, and the railways should concentrate more on those first, and come to the other projects thereafter.