|Berhampur Railway Station, Odisha|
Demanding justice and proper share to Odisha in the 2013-2014 Railway budget, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to the Prime Minister mentioning the needs of the State in view of investment flow, economic growth and industrialisation. Pointing at the apathetic attitude of the Rail Ministry in spite of huge revenue collection from Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said that 'the railway route length and all rail density in the state is much below the national average as also substantially lower than that in neighbouring States. In contrast, the gross earnings from various stations in the State of Odisha is estimated to be in excess of 14000 Crore during the year 2012-2013.' Chief Minister has requested the Prime Minister of India, in his letter, to ensure allocation of sizeable part of the revenues generated from Odisha within the State to strengthen and expand rail network.
Citing that the State needs to look for new virgin areas for development and industrialisation as many of the present industrial clusters have attained a stage of saturation in terms of availability of land, water and, also, due to environmental concerns, Naveen has demanded speedy execution of projects such as, Bhadrachalam Road – Talcher Rail Link via Malkangiri, Jeypore, Lanjigarh; Berhampur- Sambalpur new Rail Link via Phulbani; Rayagada – Gopalpur Rail Link via Bhismagiri. Requesting the PM to advise the Ministry of Railways to execute these projects on priority basis, Naveen has also urged that these projects should be treated as “National Projects”. The Chief Minister has demanded the Prime Minister in his letter to expedite the setting up of the Wagon Factory at Sitalapali in Ganjam which was declared in Budget for the year 2011-12 and also take steps to establish a railway apprentice training centre in the backward KBK region to support the skills development and increase employability of the people of this region.
Alleging that the union ministry has bypassed Odisha while implementing ambitious projects like the dedicated freight corridor aligned with mega industrial hubs, national road expressways and high speed train projects, Naveen has demanded that the eastern dedicated freight corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni should be extended to Vishakhapatnamso as to ensure seamless movement of freight between the ports and the vast northern and central hinterlands of the country. On poor or no rail network in the backward regions of Odisha, the Chief Minister said that lack of infrastructure has been one of the major reasons of impeding socio-economic growth of this region. Mentioning that expansion of rail network in these areas would help minimising the impact of left wing extremism, Naveen adds in his letter to the Prime Minister that ‘delivering rail services in the naxal affected regions is one of the best means to channelise development therein and provide counter active force.’
Source: Hotnhitnews.com & Orissa Diary