Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, July 6:
Taking strong exception to the move by the Centre to withdraw the Waltair division from the jurisdiction of the East Coast Railway (ECoR), Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has demanded three new divisions in the state.
“Since efforts are on to withdraw the Waltair (Vishakhapatnam) division from ECoR jurisdiction as part of the restructuring of a new sub-central (Vishakhapatnam) zone under Telengana, I demand creation of three new railway divisions in my state under ECoR. The three new divisions should be set up at Jajpur-Keonjhar, Rayagada and Rourkela or Jharsuguda,” Patnaik said in a letter to Railway minister Sadanand Gowda.
Giving a detailed analysis, the chief minister said out of a total of 1106 km of rail route under Vishakhapatnam division, 410 km of rail route (37 percent) goes through Koraput and Rayagada while 521 km (47 percent) comes under Seemandhra.
“However, out of a total amount of railway freight, the Vishakhapatnam division collects 80 percent freight from Vishkhapatnam-Khordha, Vishkhapatnam-Titlagarh-
While 669 km (27.5 percent) of rail route out of a total of 2431 km of rail route in Odisha lies along mining areas like Joda-Barsuan and Ib Valley, the shifting of these rail routes to the Vishakhapatnam division from ECoR jurisdiction would be unjust, the Chief Minister said.
“The Railway ministry, before withdrawing Vishakhapatnam division from ECoR jurisdiction, must restructure the ECoR by adding more railway divisions to it failing which the state government will not tolerate such move,” Patnaik clarified.
The chief minister also informed the Railway minister that his government had submitted a proposal for creation of three new divisions under ECoR.
These proposed divisions are, Rourkela or Jharsuguda division (comprising Jareikela-Rourkela-Jharsuguda-