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Even as Bhubaneswar as a city is vouching for providing best of the civic amenities to its inhabitants, the dream of having metro rail facility seems a long distance.
“With one million population in Bhubaneswar it is difficult to run metro rails as it is expensive and cheaper alternatives like bus rapid transit system or high speed tramway system is suitable for the city,” said E Sreedharan, Principal Advisor, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC).
Sreedharan, who was in the city to attend the 12th edition of Nalco Foundation Day Lecture Series, said, to run the metro rails, the city should have two million populations at least.
When asked about the railway projects in the state are failing to take off, he said, the central government is facing problems in getting the required land and the projects will be completed timely if land is handed over at the earliest.
“There must be a pragmatic approach to land acquisition and the people should be given compensation at the market price, not the price registered at the registrar offices,” said the former railway official who was instrumental in execution of the Konkan Railway project and metro rails in Delhi in the mandated period without any cost overrun.
“Reports say that almost 95 per cent work of all infrastructure projects with an outlay of more than Rs 100 crore are running behind schedule not only by months but by years and the costs have also gone up,” he added.
The Kashmir valley railways line that started eight years back was supposed to be completed in five years as the per the directive of Prime Minister. But, till now, not even 25 per cent of the work is complete and it will take another eight years to connect Srinagar by rail, he rued.
Expressing concern over the progress of dedicated freight corridor from Delhi to Mumbai and Kolkata, he said, only 10 per cent work has been finished even after seven years while it was originally slated to be completed in five years. Money is available but the delivery is slow, said the metro man. He said, for in time completion of big infrastructure projects, unique work culture and organisational values should be instilled into the employees that include punctuality, integrity, professional competence and social accountability.
Presently, DMRC is sought as a consultant for developing metro rail infrastructure in Colombo, Dhaka, Damascus and even by Pakistan for its metro project for Lahore, he added. Chief Secretary BK Patnaik and acting chairman-cum-managing director of Nalco, Ansuman Das, also spoke on the occasion.