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Further delay likely in Kashmir rail as work stopped over issues with contractors

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Srinagar, Dec 01: The Kashmir rail link which had already missed several deadlines could see further delay as the work on the construction of the Chenab bridge has stopped from past two months due to issues between Konkan Railway and the contractors, a media report said today.

According to ‘The Wire’, the construction work on the main arch for the iconic bridge over the Chenab river in the Katra-Banihal section, which is a part of the flagship Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link project, has stopped since October 20 due to contractual issues.

It said the rail line is now likely to miss the latest 2020 target also as the main work on the bridge has stopped.

The work has stopped over problems involving the anti-rust painting of the main arch and other similar contractual issues, according to people with knowledge of the matter, said the report.

It said a certain paint is applied to parts of the main arch to prevent rusting, but there is a difference of opinion between the Konkan Railway and the contractor on the quality of the painting.

When contacted, Vijay Sharma, the chief administrative officer of the Kashmir rail link project said that the issues may be sorted out soon.

“There were contractual issues because of which work has stopped. A meeting between two parties is slated on December 06 and we are hoping that it would be sorted out,” the report quoted Vijay Sharma, the chief administrative officer of the Kashmir rail link project as having said.

Estimated to cost Rs 1,250 crore, the Chenab bridge work started in July 2017 with a target of completing construction by the end of 2019.

Railway Board Member (Engineering) Vishwesh Choubey, however, maintained that the deadline will be met despite the temporary stoppage of work.

“There are arbitration issues and work has stopped. But we are hopeful of meeting the target,” Choubey said.

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