Bhubaneswar: In another instance of the Railways’ step-motherly attitude towards Odisha, the wagon repair factory proposed at Narla in Kalahandi district has been shifted to Andhra Pradesh. As if that was not enough, uncertainty looms large over the fate of the wagon construction factory at Sitapali in Ganjam district.
Data obtained through an RTI application by one Hemant Panda of Tikarpara in Bolangir revealed that the proposed factory in Kalahandi has been shifted to Andhra Pradesh. The authorities said the decision to shift the factory was taken keeping in mind the operational benefits available at Visakhapatnam.
The RTI reply also revealed that the Railway Board is currently reviewing the feasibility of the proposed wagon factory at Sitapali in Ganjam district.
Plans were outlined for the two factories in Kalahandi and Ganjam in the 2015-16 Rail Budget.
“The Railways is currently reviewing site-related issues pertaining to the wagon construction factory proposed at Sitapali in Ganjam, which has put a big question mark over its future. They have already shifted the wagon repairing factory from Narla in Kalahandi to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh,” said the RTI applicant Hemant Panda.
The snub to Odish has drawn criticism from the ruling BJD and opposition Congress putting the Central government in the firing line.
“It is very unfortunate and goes to prove the step-motherly attitude of the central government towards Odisha. From the day the BJP government has come to the Centre, Odisha is being neglected and unfairly treated,” said Opposition leader Narasingh Mishra.
“This is another example of Central negligence towards Odisha. This will definitely be protested by the people of Kalahandi and will be raised in the Assembly,” said Urban Development minister Pushpendra Singhdeo.
On the other hand, responding to allegations leveled by BJD and Congress, BJP’s Prithviraj Harichandan said, “We will take a look at the information furnished in the RTI and the issue should be taken up for discussion. However, in the meantime, BJD and Congress should refrain from politicizing the issue.”