Even after three years wagon factory is yet to kick off

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Berhampur: Almost three years after the Railway ministry announced construction of a wagon factory in Sitalapalli in Ganjam district the project is yet to kick off.

Former railway minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the factory at Sitalapalli, about 20 km from here, in her budget speech in 2011-12. Since then, it has been repeated every year in budget speeches made by subsequent ministers.

The project was to be implemented in public-private partnership (PPP) mode and the ministry had sought around 100 acre land for it. The district administration earmarked around 101 acre after a joint verification by East Coast Railway (ECoR) and district administration. After that, there has been no progress in the project.

On many occasions, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and others have urged the Railway ministry to expedite the project but in vain.

“Besides writing to the ministry every year before the budget, I have discussed the matter with former Railway ministers Dinesh Trivedi and P K Bansal. They have done nothing except keeping the project alive by allocating some money to it,” Rajya Sabha MP Renubala Pradhan said.

“The Chief Minister has taken up the matter with the Centre. We hope it may see the light of day before the coming general elections,” she added.

Unhappy over the delay, Gopalpur MLA Pradip Panigrahi said “when the state government is ready to extend necessary support to the project, we do not know why the Centre is not keeping its commitment.”

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