Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Jul 20:
The Odisha government today inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Ministry of Railways for constitution of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for completion of the Khordha-Bolangir railway line project.
The MoU for forming the SPV for completion of the construction work for the remaining 177-km long Daspalla-Bolangir rail route within six years was signed at Rail Bhawan here between the state government and the Railways Ministry in the presence of Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, Odisha Minister for Commerce & Transport Ramesh Majhi, Speaker of Odisha Assembly Niranjan Pujari, several MPs from Odisha and senior officials from both sides.
The MoU was signed between Sanjay Rastogi, secretary (Commerce and Transport), Odisha and Ved Prakash Dudeja, executive director (Works), Railways Ministry.
The MoU was signed to expedite the 289-km Khordha-Bolangir railway project, sanctioned by the Centre in 1994-95.
While work on 32 km of the project has been completed so far, construction of the 80-km long track between Begunia and Daspalla is currently underway.
The construction of rail route from Balangir to Daspalla would begin from Balangir through the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) at a projected cost of Rs 2000 crore with the Centre and the state government sharing the cost in a 50:50 ratio.
In addition to Rs 1000 crore, the state government will bear an additional cost of Rs 355 crore towards compensation for acquisition of private land for the project.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, during the inauguration function of the Khordha-Begunia rail route on July 16 this year, had said the state government would provide all possible support to the Indian Railways in the construction of rail route from Bolangir to Daspalla by bearing half of the project cost and providing land free of cost.