Railway budget evokes mixed reaction

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Bhubaneswar: Even though the Centre on Thursday allocated a sizeable Rs 4,682 crore for Odisha in the railway budget for 2016-17, the budgetary amount has evoked a mixed reaction.

Terming Railway minister Suresh Prabhu’s budget disappointing, BJD’s Lok Sabha MP Pinaki Mishra said, “It is very painful that there are no innovative ideas in the railway budget this year. Instead of thinking how to generate revenue by introducing new proposals, the minister presented a status quo budget which is very disappointing.”
BJD’s parliamentary party leader in the Lok Sabha, Bhartruhari Mahatab, who also heads the Railway Convention Committee, echoed the views of Mishra.

“When we submitted our memorandum to the Railway minister, he had assured us to look into Odisha’s issues for more allocation then previous years. I don’t think he has kept his word,” Mishra stated.

On the other hand, Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda lauded the Railway minister’s concern for Haridaspur-Paradip route, which has received Rs 200 crore in this year’s budget proposal.

“Though several ongoing railway projects have received minimum allocation, I would like to thank the Railway minister for granting Rs 200 crore for Haridaspur-Paradip route, which will be the first line of Kendrapara district and important for other coastal districts as well,” Panda said.

Meanwhile, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan expressed satisfaction over the amount granted by the Centre for Odisha. He said a number of ongoing projects have received sizeable allocation leading to the timely completion of these projects.

“I am thankful to Railway minster Suresh Prabhu for allocating the highest ever amount to Odisha since Independence. Through the allocation, a number of proposals and ongoing projects will see the light of day very soon,” Pradhan stated.

“This is a historic budget. The Railway minister has proposed several measures to improve facilities and other amenities in trains as well as stations. I think Odisha has been given sufficient fund in the sector,” Union minister Jual Oram opined.

Notably Odisha had sought Rs 5,000 crore for the State in the railway budget.

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