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Project take credit: Mayawati ahead in race with Centre

It is a race to hog credit for a proposed railway overbridge in Shyam Nagar.

Written by Kautilya Singh | Kanpur |
February 9, 2009 2:07:32 am

It is a race to hog credit for a proposed railway overbridge in Shyam Nagar.

Union Minister of State for Railways Narain J Rathwa is expected here on February 11 to lay the foundation for the Rs 18.20-crore Centre-state partnership project.

But Chief Minister Mayawati has already done it,that too,without visiting Kanpur.

Mayawati laid the foundation at her residence on her birthday on January 15. It was one of the several projects whose mass inauguration she performed that day. The commemorative stones were all stacked up and she unveiled them one after the other.

The plaque has since arrived from Lucknow. Kamar Khan,project manager of the UP Bridge Corporation,the nodal agency for the construction,said,“We have received the stone and will install it at the crossing on Monday.”

The Congress is unhappy with Mayawati’s attempts to hijack the joint project. Party leaders say the project was approved by the Railway Ministry and the Ministry for Shipping,Road Transport and Highways,largely due to the efforts of Shriprakash Jaiswal,Minister of State for Home and local MP.

Jaiswal is also instrumental in organising the foundation ceremony by Rathwa,scheduled for February 11. Chances are that he hopes that his association with the project will pay dividends during the Lok Sabha elections.

Deepak Dave,Divisional Railway Manager of Allahabad,said they were awaiting confirmation for Rathwa’s visit. But Jaiswal’s spokesman Arun Dwivedi said that Rathwa’s programme had been confirmed. Dwivedi alleged that the CM “wants to take credit for a project on which Jaiswal has been working for years.” He had intervened with Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and T R Baalu,Minister for Shipping,Road Transport and Highways,to have the project cleared,he claimed. Dwivedi also said they had no objection to the foundation stone of CM being installed there because it is a joint project,“but the timing is a concern for us.” He wondered why the state government could not wait a few more days and install Mayawati’s stone after Rathwa’s function. The project — a 50:50 partnership between the Centre and state—- was approved by the Centre in June 2008. In December,the state government also gave its approval and the UP Bridge Corporation was appointed the nodal agency. The construction will be carried out jointly by the UP Bridge Corporation and Indian Railways.

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