January 22, 2009 12:59:26 am
Work on the proposed Rail Coach Factory at Rae Bareli which was stalled over three months ago when the Mayawati government cancelled the land allotment two days before the scheduled bhoomi pujan by Congress president Sonia Gandhi began without any fanfare.
According to sources in the Railways,work begun immediately after the Ministry of Railways and the state government submitted the signed and registered lease deed before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday.
According to reports,Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to visit Rae Bareli on January 27 and 28.
She will also visit the factory site at Lalganj. It is not known,however,if the Railway authorities are planning a bhoomi pujan this time.
A senior Railway official said the first priority was to arrange for water and power supply at the site. While the construction of a tubewell is in progress,work to lay electric wires at the site will start soon. Other works can begin only after these two are in place.
The official added they will begin with constructing the factorys boundary wall.
We have been delayed and cant waste time when things are finally in favour of the factory, he said.
This will be the third Rail Coach Factory in the country after Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Kapurthala in Punjab.
It will have an installed capacity to manufacture 1,000 coaches per annum. The project is expected to cost around Rs 2,200 crore.
The Railways had paid the state government Rs 9 crore for around 189 hectare required for the factory.
Still,the state government cancelled the allotment,claiming the farmers of the area were angry over the acquisition of their land and that there may be mass suicides. But in reality,there was no sign of any resentment or agitation by the farmers.
Following this,the Railways challenged the government action in the High Court.
Later,the state government backtracked and decided to allot the land to the Railways on lease.
But the Railways had reservations over a few terms of the lease.
On December 17,2008,the court had asked the both ministry and the state government to settle the matter so that work could begin.
The two sides submitted a signed agreement in the court on Wednesday.
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