September 21, 2020

Rail minister assures quick transfer of Digha-Patna rail line land to Bihar

PATNA: Hopes have increased for a four-lane road connection north and south Patna after union railway minister Piyush Goyal in a meeting with Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, had assured for quick completion of formalities for the transfer of land on which the present Digha-Patna rail line exits.

Modi in a press release on Sunday said he met Goyal in New Delhi on Saturday and requested him to transfer the land to state government. The issue of transfer of land between Indian Railways and state government is pending since 2009.

Modi said the rail section of rail track is 150 years old and exits on a 71.25 acre land.

The strip of land is almost 40 meters wide on which twice a passenger train is plied by the Indian Railways (IR) even after suffering huge yearly financial loss. According to records submitted before Patna high court in connection with an ongoing PIL over construction of a four lane road on the land, IR coughs-up Rs 6.07 lakh monthly for maintaining the track while it monthly earns mere Rs 7,800. Only 47 tickets are sold daily and at least Rs 72 lakh is expended by IR annually.

The transfer of land had hit a roadblock after state government recently conducted a survey on high court’s order and estimated the piece of land to be of worth Rs 221 crore while IR, in an earlier survey, had fixed Rs 896.29 crore price. Records submitted in the court indicates IR officials were ready to transfer the land but not before payment of price evaluated by them.

However, state government had said the land, being a long strip, can neither be used for commercial nor residential purpose.

Deputy CM Modi, said if the road comes up in near future, the distance between Digha and R-block would come down by almost two kilometres. He said commuters would save a lot of time and residents of Serpentine Road, Boring Canal Road, Shivpuri, Rajeev Nagar locality and some other localities would avail easy transportation to Digha and R-block. He said pressure on the Bailey Road would also decrease.

Courtesy: TNN

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