Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 25:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today thanked Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for accepting majority of state’s demands in allocation of funds in the Railway Budget presented by the latter in the Parliament today.
While the allocation fell marginally short of state government’s expectation of Rs 5000 crore, the state got its largest ever allocation of Rs 4682 crore in the Railway budget as compared to last year’s allocation of Rs 2517.07 crore.
“I am thankful to Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for accepting some of the major demands of our state. I would also like to thank all the MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha who continuously followed it up with the Union government. Also, I would like to thank our Standing Committee of Odisha Legislative Assembly for following up with the Ministry of Railways,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
Railway Minister tabled the budget for the second time this year in which Centre has allocated Rs 240 crore for Khurda-Balangir rail project, Rs 12.87 crore for Daitari – Banspani route, Rs 5.21 crore for Lanjigarh – Junagarh route, Rs 200 crore for Haridaspur – Paradip route, Rs 150 crore for Talcher – Bimlagarh and Rs 150 crore Angul-Sukinda railway route.
For doubling of railway tracks, Centre has allocated Rs 85 crore for Sambalpur – Rengali route, Cuttack – Barang got Rs 1 lakh, Raj Athgarh – Barang got Rs 1 crore, Khurda-Barang got Rs 1 crore, Jharsuguda-Rengali got Rs 10.5 crore, Sambalpur-Titlagarh Rs 419 crore, Brundamal-Jharsuguda fly over Rs 11.5 crore, Banspani-Daitari-Tomka-Jakhapura Rs 241 crore, Delanga-Puri Rs 8 crore, Sambalpur-Talcher Rs 220 crore. Besides, Rs 135 crore has been earmarked for Bhadrak—Nirgundi third line and Rs 120 crore for Jagdalpur—Koraput railway line, Vizainagaram-Sambalpur third line Rs 225 crore, Jharapada-Budhapanka with fly over third and fourth line Rs 200 crore, Budhapanka-Salegaon via Ragathagarh third and fourth line Rs 200 crore, Bhadrak- Vizainagaram third line Rs 210 crore, Koraput-Singapur Road Rs 39 crore, Khurda Road- Vizainagaram Bypass Rs 9 crore.
Token grant of Rs 1 crore each for Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabrangpur projects have been allocated.
Similarly, Rs 1 crore has been allocated for guage conversion of Nuapada-Gunupur route.
Railways to take up on priority the provision of passenger amenities and beautification on stations at pilgrimage centres like Puri and rail connectivity to Port town of Paradip.
The Railway budget also proposes to take up East Coast freight corridors through innovative financing including public private partnership (PPP).
Five new railway lines have been proposed in the railway budget for Odisha. They are: Jeypore-Malkangiri, Jeypore-Nabarangpur, Banshpani-Barbil, Berhampur-Sambalpur, Bandhamunda-Rourkela routes.
In its bid to provide internet connectivity to passengers, Wi-fi system will be installed at 400 more railway stations including at Bhubaneswar railway station. It will be operational by March 31.