Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of State for Railway Manoj Sinha on Monday said not an inch of railway lines in Odisha has been given to any other division.
Attending a programme at Railway Auditorium here, the Minister said the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government has no reason to protest as the Railway Ministry has not ceded even an inch of railway track in Odisha to other railway divisions.
He said the Centre is going to create a new division under East Coast Railway (ECoR) at Rayagada.
Notably, the BJD is opposing bifurcation of the Waltair division of the East Coast Railway (ECoR).
The Minister said railway projects are getting affected in Odisha due the delay in land acquisition by the state government.
“The delay in land acquisition has affected the development of railway sector in the state. I expect from the state government to expedite the land acquisition process for accelerating the railway projects in the state,” said Sinha.
He said the Centre had in the past five years made a budget allocation of Rs 27,000 crore for the development of railway sector in Odisha.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the BJD was shedding crocodile tears on the bifurcation of ECoR.
“None of the BJD leaders had raised their voice when the decision was taken in Parliament. Why is the BJD protesting against ECoR’s railway division in KBK districts? Is BJD against the Rayagada railway division? Let there be no attempt to stall railway infrastructure development in Odisha,” Pradhan said.
On the occasion, Sinha made announcements of service extension of Gondwana Express up to Sambalpur and Jharsuguda via Talcher, and also new stoppages of several other trains in Odisha.
He also dedicated new escalator and foot over bridge at Brahmapur railway station as well as improved circulating area at Talcher railway station.
The Minister also laid the foundation stone for new escalator at Bhubaneswar railway station.
He also dedicated 280 Rural Wi-Fi Hotspots and Wi-Fi Choupal Project of Common Service Centre (CSC) for 100 Gram Panchayats of Jagatsinghpur district, 400 2G-based transmission stations and 480 3G transmission stations, Comprehensive Pearl Archive Network for 708 sites and Multi-Protocol Label Switching Transport-based Packet Aggregation Network (MNH-PAN) of BSNL.