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Odisha MPs for rail funds

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By SUBHASHISH MOHANTY
  • Published 2.12.11
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Bhubaneswar, Dec. 1: The House committee of the Assembly on railway, headed by Speaker Pradeep Amat, today met Union railway minister Dinesh Trivedi and urged him to allocate Rs 2,345 crore to take up expansion of the railway network in Odisha.

Odisha badly needs expansion of railway network to meet the demands posed by growing industrialisation.

“The railway minister listened to our demands and assured us to take up the issues,” Amat told reporters after the meeting in New Delhi. The Odia MPs also accompanied the committee.

Sources said the committee asked the ministry to allocate money for the ongoing railway projects.

The committee has demanded Rs 60 crore for Lanjigarh-Junagarh railway project, Rs 350 crore for Khurda-Balangir project, Rs 300 crore for Haridaspur-Paradip, Rs 200 crore for Dubri-Angul-Sukinda, Rs 200 crore for Talcher and Rs 100 crore for Jaleswar and Digha railway project.

In the last rail budget, an allocation of Rs 1,168.02 crore had been made for Odisha as against its demand of Rs 2,085 crore for early completion of the projects.

The major ongoing railway projects include Khurda Road-Balangir (289km), Haridaspur-Pardip (82km), Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh (56km), Angul-Duburi-Sukinda Road (90km) and Talcher-Bimlagarh (154km).

To take up gauge conversion of the Nuapada-Gunpur project, Odisha demanded Rs 30 crore and Rs 20 crore for Rupsa and Bangiriposhi railway. The committee demanded Rs 50 crore for setting up model stations in Bhubaneswar and Puri.

Sources said the committee asked the ministry to run at least 20 new trains and extend the frequency of 16 trains. The committee put focus on extension of its railway network in western Odisha.

“We have urged the railway authorities to put focus on expanding the railway network in the Maoist-affected districts,” said committee members.

The committee members also informed the minister that Odisha was earning a revenue of nearly Rs 7,500 crore per annum. However, the railway has network of 2,500km in the state.