Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Feb 12:
Non-Congress parties today decried the interim railway budget stating that the budget has noting for Odisha, which needs more railway infrastructure for increased connectivity in the state, while the Congress expectedly welcomed it.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the Congress led UPA government has neglected the state once again and the people will give a befitting reply in the coming elections.
“We had requested the Railway Ministry to allocate Rs 4000 crore for various railway projects in the state. But in the vote on account railway budget 2014-15, no specific provision about any project of Odisha has been indicated. The state had demanded 31 new trains against which one new express train and two passenger trains has been announced,” the Chief Minister told media persons here.
“Central Government has once again meted out step motherly treatment to the state, especially when the State is giving more than Rs.14,000 crore revenue per annum to Indian Railways. The people of Odisha will remember the continuous neglect in the railway sector and I am sure they will give a befitting response at the earliest,” said the Chief Minister.
Pointing to the fact that the Odisha Government had come forward to finance 50% of the project cost and provide required land free of cost to expedite work on the Khurda-Bolangir line and was committed to provide 26% share capital for two ongoing SPV Projects – Haridaspur-Paradeep line and Angul-Sukinda – he saidnothing has been specified about any of these projects in the current vote-on-account, .
There was no mention in the rail budget about the wagon factory in Ganjam district that was announced three years back in the budget. There is no mention of the Kalahandi project about which we have made a request, said the chief minister.
The BJP also reacted on expected lines stating that the UPA government has the habit of neglecting the state in every sector. “There is nothing new in it. The UPA government has once again let Odisha down in the railway sector. The Congress-led government at Centre is always against the state,” said BJP legislature party leader Jaynarayan Mishra.
The interim Railway Budget which was introduced today in the Parliament has brought no cheer for the people of Odisha,said state unit president of Samajwadi Party Rabi Behera. Whether it is allocation of funds, introduction of new trains, spreading new lines or renovation of Railway Stations, Odisha had been betrayed on every front, he said.
However, the Congress is happy with the budget allocation to Odisha stating that the decision not to hike passenger fares would be a huge relief for the people. “The railway budget is a beautiful budget meant for general people. There is no increase of fare hike and imposition of new tax. Every demand is met in the interim railway budget,” said Sambalpur MP Amar Pradhan.