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Piyush Goyal asks Yogi Adityanath to fast-track freight corridor project in UP

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Unable to cut ice with the local administration, railway minister Piyush Goyal has been forced to approach UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath to fast-track the dedicated freight corridor (DFC) project of the central government.

In his letter to the CM, the minister has raised eight major issues that have stalled the progress of the project, with a 1,000km span in the state. Four of those pertain to hindrances in getting physical possession of land in Gautam Budh Nagar. Being executed by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited, the special purpose vehicle established at the behest of the Union railways ministry, the inauguration of the corridor is getting delayed owing to the pending issues. Sources said that PM Narendra Modi will preside over the inauguration ceremony.

General manager of operations and safety at the corporation, Ved Prakash said that coordination is on with the senior officials of the state government to expedite the pending issues. “The project is getting commissioned in phases in UP. Dadri–Khurja– Bhaupur is one crucial section of the eastern dedicated freight corridor, while Bhaupur to Mughalsarai is the second one. Rail overbridges have to be constructed across the level crossings but the land required for constructing approaches has not been acquired yet in half-a-dozen districts,” said Prakash.

A total of 54 overbridges have to be constructed, of which work on 19 bridges is underway. Work on commencing construction on 11 bridges is yet to start. Among them, seven are situated in Gautam Budh Nagar.

The deadline to start work on the 19 bridges would end in January next year and a new timeline will have to be framed to achieve the milestones, officials from the corporation revealed. The Union railways ministry had sent a reminder to the state government on November 3 to expedite work on the bridges.

The minister has also pointed out in his letter that physical possession of even government land (0.299 hectare) in Bodaki could not be taken since the district administration has not been able to remove the structures from the land parcel. When contacted, Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate Suhas LY said that transfer and handover of some land chunks is pending in the four villages since the affected families and farmers have moved court.

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