Two days after Rajya Sabha member parliament (MP) Shwait Malik said that the much-awaited Patti-Makhu railway link is delayed due to the state government, Tarn Taran deputy commissioner DPS Kharbanda said that the state government is ready to start work but the balls is in the Union government’s court as the work can be initiated only after the Centre asks them to.
Malik had alleged that the Union government has earmarked Rs 299 crore for laying down of 25km long railway line to shorten the distance between Amritsar and Mumbai by 249km, and Amritsar and Ferozepur by 32km, in the budget of 2017-18; but Congress-led state government is not starting the work of land acquisition.
The DC said that he was the deputy commissioner of Ferozepur when the survey of land acquisition was done, along with his then counterpart in Tarn Taran, he had prepared the case and sent it to state government. “The project will cost around Rs 40 crore. Work cannot be initiated till the Centre does not ask us to,” he added.
Meanwhile, Amritsar MP Gurjit Singh Aujla, who is associated with Congress, slammed Malik for holding the state government responsible for delay in the project. He claimed that the delay is due to the previous SAD-BJP government.
He added that the credit for the project goes to the Congress-led UPA government that had sanctioned this project to benefit trading in India. “Pawan Kumar Bansal, the then railway minister, had announced this rail link in the 2013 budget,” he added.