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'Railways not facing land acquisition hurdle in WB'

Railways are not facing any problem for land acquisition in West Bengal for the eastern dedicated freight corridor project as the compensation offered is better than that provided for under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, a senior official said on Friday.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Kolkata
UPDATED ON JUL 22, 2011 02:55 PM IST

Railways are not facing any problem for land acquisition in West Bengal for the eastern dedicated freight corridor project as the compensation offered is better than that provided for under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, a senior official said on Friday.

"There is no problem in acquiring land in the West Bengal portion of the corridor," Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Managing Director RK Gupta said.

Gupta said land for the corridor was being acquired under the Railway Acquisition Act of 2008, a special legislation framed for the Railways. Compensation under the Act was better than that offered under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.

For the corridor, the Railways would need nearly 1,000 acres of land between Sonenagar in Bihar to Dankuni in West Bengal, Gupta told reporters on the sidelines of a CII logistics seminar here.

Gupta said land was being acquired by the state's revenue officers who were the competent authority designated by the Railways.

The eastern part of the freight corridor would stretch between Ludhiana and Dankuni covering nearly 1,200 kilometres.

Gupta said while the stretch between Ludhiana and Mugalsarai would be funded by the World Bank, Railways would finance the second portion from Mugalsarai to Sonenagar.

From Sonenagar to Dankuni, the funding would be made through the PPP route for which an investors' meet had already taken place in November 2010.

He said the Ministry was now confronted with two models, firstly the design-build-finance-maintenance-operate-transfer, and secondly design-build-finance-maintenance-transfer.

Gupta said the Ministry along with the Planning Commission would take a decision soon on which model to adopt.

He said the World Bank had committed to provide a loan of $ 2.75 billion for the corridor.

For the Khurja-Kanpur stretch, the World Bank has already sanctioned a loan of $ 975 million.

Gupta said the target date for completing the entire corridor had been put at December 2016.

The stretch from Mugalsarai to Sonenagar would require an investment of Rs 1,050 crore, he said.

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