Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, June 9:
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today submitted a detailed demand for Rs 3160 crore in the railway budget to the Railway minister Sadananda Gowda urging him to allocate more funds for new rail lines, doubling, electrification, improved passenger amenities and introduction of new trains.
The chief minister has also urged the Railway minister to extend the eastern dedicated freight corridor from Dankuni to Brahmpur to ensure seamless movement of freight between the upcoming ports on the Odisha coast including the major ports at Paradeep and the vast central and northern hinterlands of India.
Patnaik has also asked for the development of different railway corridors that will help augment the development of industries in the state.
“As you would be aware that the state of Odisha accounts for almost 35% of the nation’s iron reserves and 24% of coal reserves and rail happens to be the most economic and efficient mode of transport. My government proposes two dedicated rail corridors in the Angul-Talcher belt and Basundhara area in Sundargarh-Jharsuguda linking the coal blocks and Nayagarh-Banspani linking the iron ore mines respectively. These corridors are planned to be developed in a participative funding mechanism where industries have evinced interest,” said the chief minister in his letter.
Patnaik also urged the ministry to commence the links-Burhamura-Chakulia, GunupurTheruveli, Banspani-Barbil-to ensure seamless flow of traffic and easier access of industrial and mining areas to ports.
He urged the Railway Minister to allocate fund for the construction of Bhadrachalam Road-Talcher rail link via Malkangiri, Jeypore, Lanjigarh, Sambalpur-Brahmapur new rail link vial Phulbani and Rayagada-Gopalpur rail link via Bhismagiri.
Patnaik said these projects should be treated as ‘national projects’.
Highlighting the Khurdha-Bolangir rail project, he said the government is committed to allocate land (including private land) in the Daspalla-Bolangir stretch free of cost and share 50% of construction cost for this segment.
“I request you to take up the project on top priority. Besides, the work on the already sanctioned line from Talcher to Bimlagarh needs to be accelerated and complete within definite time schedule,” said the chief minister.
Stressing on Angul-Duburi-Sukinda road BG rail link and Haridaspur-Paradeep rail link, for which SPVs have been formed, he said the execution of the two projects should be expedited to support the industrial units in Angul-Talcher and the Kalinganagar industrial cluster.
While asking the Railway to expedite the execution of world class stations at Bhubaneswar and the holy temple town of Puri.
Patnaik has also requested the Union minister to commence detailed planning for rail-based city transport system (Mass Rapid Transit System) for the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.