Slow progress in key projects worries Railways

Changing targets of completion causing embarrassment, says Railway Board

The lack of progress in key railway projects across the country was resulting in an “embarrassing” situation for the Ministry of Railways during review meetings convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the Railway Board.

In an advisory issued on Thursday to general managers of all Zonal Railways, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd., IRCON International Ltd., Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd., and other major construction organisations, the Railway Board said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was monitoring several railway projects through the Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation (PRAGATI) portal.

Drone visuals

Besides assessing data management and analysis, geo-spatial applications and video-conference inputs, Mr. Modi was also viewing videos captured by drones of the project sites to review the progress.

“It is seen that regular monitoring and follow-up is not being done for these projects and issues discussed before Prime Minister and this results in embarrassing situation for Ministry of Railways. Targets given by Zonal Railways/PSUs during meetings are frequently changed and this gets adversely commented upon during meetings,” the advisory said.

The Railway Board was referring to 90 projects across India the progress of which were discussed in 36 meetings (from 25/03/2015 to 24/02/2021). The listed projects included the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (1,856 km), Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla (272 km), Mumbai Urban Transport Project (Phase-II), Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (508 km), Madurai-Thoothukudi via Aruppukottai (144 kms), Angamali-Sabarimala Line (111 km) and others.

The note said officers working on these projects may be sensitised to avoid procedural delays and follow up with other statutory authorities and State governments for early completion of the projects.

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