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Rajasthan college clears land for railways with 'Dayanand' rider

twitter-logoPTI | July 25, 2019 | Updated 17:22 IST

New Delhi, Jul 25 (PTI) A three-year-long litigation holding up the railways' western dedicated freight corridor seems to have finally ended, with a Rajasthan college agreeing to withdraw a petition against land acquisition in exchange for an overbridge named after Arya Samaj founder Dayanand Saraswati. The 400-metre-long stretch is required by the railways to build an approach road for a road overbridge, which is essential to the design of the ambitious freight corridor. The news comes as a huge relief for the railways, whose plans for a dedicated freight corridor without level crossings was being disrupted by this small stretch of land. The condition to name the overbridge as 'Dayanand Setu' was conveyed to the state authorities by the Dayanad College (DAV College), Ajmer, last month. In its letter to the district collector, the college has said it would provide the land for a 99-year lease in "public interest" for the bridge. "The railway overbridge be named as Dayanand Setu in memory and respect of legendary personality Maharshi Dayanand," the letter said. "The college also undertakes to withdraw the writ petition pending in case the above conditions are satisfied." The development comes at a time land acquisition issues across the country are affecting the railways' major projects, including the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, the project to link the Northeastern states, the East-West Metro in Kolkata, as well as other freight corridors. The western dedicated freight corridor (WDFC) will connect Delhi with economic hub Mumbai and is scheduled to be completed by 2021. The broad-gauge corridor will cover a distance of 1,504 km and will be electrified with double-line operations. A senior railways official said the overbridge would be constructed by the state authorities as part of the WDFC. According to the official, they were not able to build the overbridge without that stretch of land in Madar-Durai of Rewari-Palanpur section of the corridor. Without the birdge, the official added, a level crossing would have been required on that portion of the WDFC, which has been planned with no level-crossing gates. Land acquisition issues, as well as delay in obtaining clearances, have held up many railway projects in Karnataka, West Bengal and Odisha among other states, said railway officials. PTI ASG HMB

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