NEW DELHI, Sept 8 � The perennial delay in completion of the rail projects in the Northeast is likely to continue with Railway Minister DV Sadananda Gowda declaring that the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge is likely to be completed in three years.
The Railway Minister, who was addressing a press conference on completion of 100 days in office, said that the third girder of the bridge was installed three days back. The project is likely to be completed in three years, he said.
Admitting that resource crunch has delayed the construction of the Bogibeel bridge, the Centre has set a new target date of March 2017 for the project that is now estimated to cost Rs 4,996 crore. The bridge over the Brahmaputra was sanctioned in 1997-98. An expenditure of Rs 3,041 crore has been incurred up to March 2014. An outlay of Rs 600 crore has been provided for the year 2014-15, he said.
The Railway Minister, however, asserted that the projects in the northeastern region would be expedited. Major projects, including eleven national projects, in the Northeast have suffered time and cost overruns.
In this NDA Government�s first Railway Budget, an outlay of over Rs 5,000 crore has been earmarked for 23 pending projects in the Northeast, marking a 54 per cent jump in allocation. �The northeastern States� rail connectivity is a mission area for our government. The work in the Northeast has seen maximum speed in construction activity. On August 11, Meghalaya got its rail connectivity with the completion of the 9.75-km Dudhnoi-Mendipathar line,� he said.
�Three more lines into the Northeast will be completed this year,� the minister announced. Southern Assam �would soon be brought under the broad gauge network with the start of the longest-ever gauge conversion project between Lumding and Silchar, measuring 210 km, he said.
Under the Silchar gauge conversion project, the most critical tunnel No. 7, having a length of 1,687 metres, has been completed in August. This tunnel is located on a six-degree curve in a very unstable geological condition, Gowda said.