Mokokchung, 30 March (MTNews): According to a CAG report presented in the Assembly on 27 March, the much talked about Dimapur-Kohima New Railway Line Project in Nagaland is not only beset by delays, but also by ballooning budgets.



According to the report, the project’s original projected cost was Rs 850 crore, but by 2022, it had more than seven times increased to Rs 6,663.20 crore. Aside from that, the project’s original goal of completing the track by March 2020 has now been pushed back to March 2026.


Meanwhile, CAG observed that only 25% of the job had been completed as of March 2022.


“The Indian Railways could have avoided expenses running up to Rs.1,140 crores on construction of the Dimapur–Kohima New Line Project in Nagaland had it practiced more due diligence,” the CAG report revealed.


The Railways could have averted a liability of Rs. 879.05 crore if it had used fixed Overhead Equipment or Rigid Overhead Conductor Rail System (ROCS) instead of flexible OHE, according to CAG.


“Reluctance to adopt cost-cutting measures coupled with excessive provision of facilities in cross-section designs of tunnels led to huge avoidable liability,” according to the report.


The CAG report also stated that surveying and re-surveying the site, unjustified haste in acquiring land, irregularities in compensation payment, avoidable liabilities in tunnel construction, hasty procurement of signaling material, and procurement of expensive construction material were some of the reasons for the Railways’ delays.


The CAG also stated that Rs 141.7 crore was squandered in the land acquisition process which included compensation paid for land acquisition that, according to the CAG, would be of no use due to alignment revision, and indiscrete acquisition of land by the Northeast Frontier Railway Construction Organization (NFRCO) over tunnels primarily based on ‘the request of the Chief Secretary of Nagaland.’


In this regard, the CAG has asked for railway administration to fix accountability for acquisition of land which was in violation of codal provisions.


The CAG chastised the Railways for its careless approach which resulted in an unnecessary spending of Rs. 5.44 crore. It stated that the final location assessment for the project, completed for Rs. 7 crore by Gurugram-based PSU RITES, was abandoned due to ‘difficulties in construction of alignment’. The Railways acknowledged that the pre-construction report provided by RITES was not adequately reviewed, and the job was eventually given to another firm, M/S Ayesa.


In another case, the CAG noted that while civil engineering works were not even 25% complete, material worth Rs. 11.44 crore for the entire project was purchased.


“Improper and hasty procurement resulted in a blockage of Rs.11.44 crore, and the material sat idle,” CAG noted.


The CAG report also states that extensions for completion of work were granted liberally, resulting in delay and extra payment of Rs. 42.38 crore due to price variation, leading to delay in target date of project completion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *