Almost after more than a decade, decks are cleared for acquisition of land for the Chandigarh-Baddi railway line in Haryana. Highly-placed sources in the railways said the railways were going to issue a notification for land acquisition, making it mandatory for residents to hand over the 25km land required for the project from September. The rest of the 3km land in Himachal Pradesh is already acquired.
Officials said as it is a special railway project, no resident can oppose the acquisition and rates of the land are more than the market cost. Officials assured that the land acquisition work will be completed in six months. In 2014, when the survey was conducted for the project in Haryana, there was resentment among residents leading to it being put on hold.
In 2019, when the railways planned to acquire land in Haryana, owners wanted a higher price, a demand that was rejected. The railways gave the project special status to avoid facing problems in acquiring land. Sources said many rounds of meetings were held between the railways and Himachal Pradesh government to release the share of funds for the project recently.
The Rs 1,540 crore project has two shareholders, the railways and Himachal Pradesh government. Sources said the railways had already released their share of Rs 770 crore and HP released Rs 45 crore for land acquisition out of Rs 770 crore.
In a recent meeting with the top brass, the Himachal Pradesh government had assured the railways that as and when the work commenced, the funds would be released. G M Singh, divisional railway manager Ambala, said no funds were released by the railway ministry for the project this year.