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Marhaura, Madhepura projects not abandoned: Railways

Last updated on: February 2, 2011 16:33 IST

Marhaura, Madhepura projects not abandoned: Railways

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Railway Board on Wednesday denied reports that its diesel locomotive manufacturing factory at Marhaura and electric locomotive manufacturing unit at Madhepura in Bihar were being abandoned and said they would be completed on public-private partnerships in Railways basis.

"The reports that Railways has planned to abandon or shelve the two ambitious mega projects are totally misleading, concocted and based on surmises . . . It is a false propaganda that these projects will be sheleved," Railway Board chairman Vivek Sahay told PTI over phone from New Delhi.

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Marhaura, Madhepura projects not abandoned: Railways

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The two projects were announced in the Budget by former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad.

While the diesel locomotive manufacturing factory at Marhaura in Saran district would involve an expenditure of Rs 1,400 crore (Rs 14 billion) and the electric locomotive manufacturing unit at Madhepura Rs 2,025 crore (Rs 20.25 billion) and will be decided upon in the coming Budget.

Sahay said Railways had earlier decided to complete these two major projects in Bihar on its own, but later it was decided on PPP.

A committee of experts was recently set up to study the terms and conditions and submit the report within a week for execution of the two projects, besides another at Kanchrapara in West Bengal.

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Image: Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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Marhaura, Madhepura projects not abandoned: Railways

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He said out of the budgetary allocation made during 2010-11 land have already been acquired and purchased for the two projects in Bihar.

Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad said he spoke over phone to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee who, he said, described the report of suspension of work at the two projects as 'misleading and baseless'.

Prasad lambasted Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi for his 'wild and misleading' charge that suspension of construction work at the two units exposed claims made by him (Lalu) on the profits earned by Railways during his stint at Rail Bhavan.

"Modi should weigh twice before rushing to the press while making allegations . . .

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Marhaura, Madhepura projects not abandoned: Railways

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People of the state have given them (the National Democratic Alliance government) massive mandate to react with full responsibility and the mandate must be respected," he said.

Railways decided to suspend the Marhaua and Madhepura projects because of financial deficit, Modi had said.

Prasad, who had in 2007 announced the setting up of the factories at Marahaura and Madhepura as the then Railways minister, told newsmen both projects were sanctioned by United Progressive Alliance-I and had approval from the union cabinet and Parliament.

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Marhaura, Madhepura projects not abandoned: Railways

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Allocation of fund was made for the two projects as also for others initiated during his tenure at Rail Bhavan.

Prasad said Railways had been so far carrying out work on coach maintenance workshop at Harnaut, wheel factory at Belapur, Chhapra and DEMU maintenance workshop at Sonepur.

A slew of major projects were sanctioned in Bihar at a cost of Rs 55,000 crore (Rs 550 billion) during the past five to six years, he said.

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The projects are the Railway wheel factory at Chhapra (Rs 1,417 crore or Rs 14.17 billion), diesel engine factory at Marhaura (Rs 1,400 crore or Rs 14 billion), electric engine factory at Madhepura (Rs 2,025 crore or Rs 20.25 billion), coach maintenance workshop at Harnaut (Rs 325 crore or Rs 3.25 billion), DEMU maintenance depot at Sonepur (Rs 15 crore or Rs 150 million), goods wagon repair workshop at Sonepur (Rs 92 crore or Rs 920 million) and wagon repair workshop at Samastipur (Rs 33 crore or Rs 330 million).



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