Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 12
The proposed Patti-Makhu rail link to connect Amritsar and Ferozepur via rail has become an object of controversy among political leaders and workers. The cost of land acquisition is being said to be about Rs 40 crore whereas sources said it would be around Rs 300 crore in reality.
The rail link has become a popular demand of people of two border districts.
Officials associated with the project said the NDA government and its leaders were wrongly projecting the cost of the land acquisition between the Patti and Makhu stretch to be Rs 40 crore.
Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) president Kulwant Singh Ankhi said, “Whatever the cost of land acquisition may be, it is the duty of the state government to acquire it as soon as possible to complete the project. After all, connectivity is the engine of growth.”
He said the NITI Aayog had already approved and sanctioned the Railway Ministry’s proposal to lay track from Patti to Makhu.
The project was sanctioned by Pawan Bansal, the then railway minister in the UPA government.
This rail route is beneficial and economical for the states of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Besides shortening the travelling distance between Amritsar and Mumbai by 240 km, it will also serve as the alternative railway route between Amritsar and Mumbai. It will reduce the railway rush on the Amritsar-Delhi-Mumbai route.
The Ministry of Railways has cleared a fund of Rs 300 crore for the project in the 2017-18 fiscal and the funds will be released annually. The AVM requested the state government to release the requisite amount for the land acquisition in its maiden budget. The manch has requested this in a communiqué sent to the CM.
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