Railways Board has pulled up zonal railways over poor utilisation of funds with some zones returning huge funds for doubling of projects, which are important to decongest busy routes.
What is bothering Railway Board is that the money for doubling works has mostly been arranged from the Rs 1.5 lakh crore loan by LIC and any surrender of that fund would reflect badly on part of railways.
The railways got into an agreement with railways in 2015 for providing extra-budgetary support of Rs 1.5 lakh crore for five years for implementing railway projects.
In a review meeting, it was observed that the expenditure in construction organizations projects is below expectation till 2017 and only 40 per cent of budgeted expenditure has been made so far.
Railway construction organization undertakes all construction related major construction activities like new line projects, gauge conversion, doubling of existing lines, important bridges, important signal and telecommunication works and electrical works among others.
Asserting that the surrender of funds will not be acceptable, Railway Board has directed the Chief Administrative Officers (Construction) to devise means to overcome the surrender.
“As per the revised estimated figures available with the Railway Board, heavy surrender has been proposed by Western Railways and East Coast Railways,” said a senior Railway Board officer.
The officer further said that the most of the surrenders are proposed in doubling plant head.
“We should understand that doubling is important and crucial from the operational point of view. The money from doubling works has mostly been arranged from LIC loans, any surrender of which will not be acceptable by higher management,” said the officer.