NEW DELHI, Dec 11 - The Railway Ministry has ruled out the possibility of the construction of a second railway bridge over River Brahmaputra at Saraighat, citing fund crunch and describing it as an unremunerative one with low rates of return.
Replying to a Rajya Sabha question by Pankaj Bora, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that a survey for the second railway bridge was conducted in 2007-08, according to which the cost of this bridge was assessed at Rs 300 crore at the 2007-08 price level, with a rate of return of 1.88 per cent. Due to the unremunerative nature of the project, huge throw forward of ongoing projects and limited availability of overall funds, this project could not be taken forward, he said.
There is no expert committee recommendation for a second railway bridge over River Brahmaputra near the Saraighat Bridge, the minister further clarified.
Replying to a question about the Bogibeel Bridge, the minister said the construction of the rail-cum-road bridge over the Brahmaputra with linking lines (73 km) has been taken up at an anticipated cost of Rs 4,996 crore. An expenditure of Rs 3,689 crore has been incurred up to March, and an outlay of Rs 701 crore has been provided in 2015-16.
All the 42 well foundations and 35 out of the 42 piers have been completed. Fourteen out of 41 girders have been launched. Works on both the North and South guide bunds, the 44-km rail link from Chaulkhowa to Moranhat, 14-km north bank rail link and 8-km south bank rail link have also been completed, the minister stated.
The project has mainly suffered in the past on account of inadequate availability of funds, apart from delays in land acquisition and forest clearances, the minister replied to a question by Santius Kujur.