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Eye on 2019 polls, Modi govt sets monthly deadlines for railway projects

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 18 May 18 | 02:46 PM

With general elections just a year away, the railways have set monthly targets for the completion of its major projects with an aim to finish work in time for the country to go to polls in 2019.

In a letter sent to all 16 zones, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani set such targets for zonal railways for timely commissioning of new lines, gauge conversion and doubling projects announced in the budget this year and said that the tendency to keep most of the works for the last quarter be avoided.

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In fact, section-wise deadlines were set for completion in 2018-2019 for the projects to link the northeast to the main rail network.

The projects were Narendra Modi-led government's programmes with a 2020 deadline.

While the Bogibeel project in Dibrugarh, Assam was assigned a completion target of June 2018, in the Jiribam-Imphal line, the Vangaichungpao-Kaimai-Kambiron a section was set a deadline of February 2019. In the (Dimapur) Dhansiri - Kohima (Zubza) line in Nagaland, a section, Dhansiri-Sulhovi was earmarked for completion by March 2019.

Needless to say, the timely commissioning of these projects calls for meticulous planning in respect of preparatory works like approval of plans, arrangement of materials, fixing of executing agencies, creation of posts for maintenance of new assets, fixing of tentative dates for Commissioner Railway Safety inspection, Lohani said in the letter issued on May 9.

All zonal railways must set up a system through which finalisation of projects and other inputs required to achieve the targets were reviewed and monitored at the level of additional general managers, he said.

Timelines for these activities have to be so prepared in advance that the final outcome of commissioning of the projects for traffic is accompanied with the deadline, he said, adding that senior officials of the zones should monitor the projects.

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