West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal expressing her concern over the 'underdeveloped' stretch of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) for which she claimed her state has acquired 70 per cent of the land and handed over the possession of 60 per cent to Railways.
"Across North India, EDFC stretches from Ludhiana to Mughalsarai covering a distance of about 1,192 Kms from Mughalsarai, there will be a second eastward leg for another 126 km up to Sonnagar in Bihar. However, strangely, the fate of the further eastward stretch from Sonnagar to Dankuni (in West Bengal) has a distance of 538 Kms is yet uncertain," said Mamata in her letter.
"Indian Railways have started taking help of our State government for land acquisition for this third stretch also, and in West Bengal, we have already acquired 70 per cent of land requirement and handed over possession of 60 per cent of land for this stretch," read the letter.
"But, while the first two legs, and indeed the overwhelmingly major portions of the EDFC, are being executed by Indian Railways in direct/public governmental mode, this third stretch in West Bengal is apparently expected to be executed in PPP model. Much of the land has been acquired by us, but the government of India has not yet decided a precise course of execution of EDFC in this Sonnagar-Dankuni phase," it read.
"I would, therefore, urge you to kindly intervene to address this strategic policy gap affecting the future of EDFC in West Bengal so that the project could come eastwards to Kolkata and the acquisition of land for the project in the state is done justice," said Mamata.
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