Joint panel to decide on rail wagon factories: Prabhu

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Bhubaneswar: Following a meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Naveen Nivas here on Saturday, Union Railway minister Suresh Prabhu today said a joint working group would be formed to take a decision on the proposed rail wagon factory at Sitallapalli in Ganjam district and the wagon repair factory at Narla in Kalahandi district.

Prabhu told media persons, “In Odisha,factories were proposed at two places – one at Kalahandi and other one at Sitallapalli. However, only the announcement was made. To make things happen, a joint working group will be formed by the state government and Railway ministry. The committee will determine what kind of factory can be set up. A decision will be taken in this regard in one and a half months.”

However, the railway minister was mum on the place where the railway project will be established.

Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi, who was present during the meeting, said, “A decision was taken that the Chief Secretary and GM, East Coast Railway will jointly decide what other kind of project can be set up.”

Meanwhile, terming the discussion as ‘fruitful’, the chief minister told media persons, “We will have videoconferencing every alternate month to review the progress of railway projects in the State.”

Patnaik added railway connection to Malkangiri and Nabarangpur districts was also discussed in the meeting.

Notably, there was a big uproar in the State over the decision of the Railway ministry to shift the wagon repair factory from Narla in Kalahandi to Vizag. Initially, the UPA government at the Centre had proposed the two factories at Narla and Sitallpalli in its Union Budget. However, due to unknown reasons, the projects never took off.

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