To avoid Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary checkmate, govt flip-flops

Within less than two weeks, the state government made a U-turn on its decision not to challenge the Calcutta High Court's order scrapping the land acquisition in central Kolkata to build a station for the East-West Metro project.

A counsel of the state government on Wednesday filed an appeal in the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Arun Mishra challenging the verdict of the single bench that was delivered on September 11, 2012.

The sudden turnaround has more to do with the state government's friction with Congress MP and now Minister of State for Railway Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary. On January 4, when the counsel of the state transport department, which was earlier financing the Metro project, moved a plea in the High Court stating that it would not to press for appeal, the government's move came under severe criticism from Chaudhary who said that the decision had to do with political reasons than anything else.

"As the progress of the East West Metro project was stalled in central Kolkata for the order of the High Court, the state government should proceed with the appeal as the common people would be benefited for the project," Chaudhary had then said.

With the project now being under Railway Board, the state government in a bid to avoid receiving blame for failing to provide land for the project, snubbed its own transport department by telling the court today that the latter had no right to withdraw the appeal.

Central Kolkata station of E-W Metro

In 2009, the state acquired some buildings in central Kolkata for setting up a station under East West Metro project. But the acquisition was challenged by the tenants.

On Sept 11, 2012 the single bench scrapped the acquisition. The state filed an appeal in the Division Bench against the order. In November, the railway board took over the project from state transport dept.

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