Hyderabad: South Central Railway (SCR) general manager Gajanan Mallya on Wednesday asked for the Telangana government’s cooperation with respect to many delayed projects within the zone, including work on the Cherlapally terminal, MMTS Phase 2 and Akkannapet-Medak new line project. He was speaking to media personnel on the Pink Book, the Railway’s annual document detailing budgetary allocations to various works that was released on Wednesday.
Mr Mallya announced that the SCR zone had received “substantial” allocation for the year 2020-21. “We have been sanctioned a staggering `6,846 crore for this year, out of which `1,850 has been earmarked for projects in Telangana. Alloca-tion for projects Telan-gana has, in fact, increased by nearly 50 per cent from last year,” he said.
Around Rs 54 crore has been allotted for Akka-nnapet-Medak new line project.
“We are almost through with this project. We need some support from the Telangana state government. The Railways has put in more than its share for the project,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Mallya said the state government was required to pitch in its share for the MMTS Phase-II project, for which `40 crore (out of a total estimate of `817 crore) has been sanctioned for 2020-21.
Some “token amounts” have been sanctioned for projects in the state as well.
For instance, the much-awaited Ghatkesar-Yada-dri extension (33-km-long) has been given just `10 lakh while its total cost is estimated to `Rs 412 crore.
The state government is expected to pitch in with two-thirds the total cost.
In a candid moment, Mr Mallya said, “We are unable to get the required funding. The money is not coming from the government.”
Also, only Rs 5 crore has been allotted towards the development of Cherl-apally station as a satellite terminal. Mr Mallya agreed that the allocation was very low.
“But we hope once the work begins, we will get the required funding then,” he said.
Meanwhile, the senior bureaucrat ruled out the possibility of high-speed/bullet trains in the SCR. “The first experiment is still going on between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. We won’t think about it until that project is over,” he said.
When asked about the lack of activity with regard to establishing a medical college in Secun-derabad, Mr Mallya said that the Railways wished to concentrate on its core activities.
“It is unlikely to happen. For instance, we have already closed down many schools to focus on core areas,” he said.
On the delayed Kazipet Coach Factory, Mr Mallya said officials are working on replacing forest lands to move ahead with construction work.
The senior bureaucrat announced that there would be 11 new privately-run trains within the SCR. The details of modalities, Mr Mallya said, were not decided but these trains would be run maintained by private agencies entirely.
Many of these trains originate from Cherlapalli to locations such as Varanasi, Panvel and Srirakulam. There is one train between Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam as well.
Meanwhile, observers said the allocations seem to have been made mostly on profitable routes for the Railways. Sashidhar Uppuluri, a member of the Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) said, “It is ideal that the Railways spends money where it is likely to get the returns. This is a good trend.”
However, Mr Uppuluri criticised the way the allocations have been announced.
“The allocation amounts are a tad-bit misleading. For instance, if a new line project is getting `500 crore, it isn’t always the Railways that is providing this amount. Many a times, respective state governments are supposed to foot the bill. And which project a government supports is up to it completely. It would be better if these figures were clearer to the people,” he said....