Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday targeted the central government over non-plying of passenger trains from Kendrapara and Marshaghai.

Addressing a press conference, Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said, “There has been a year since the railway lines have become operational between Paradip and Haridaspur. While goods trains have already begun ferrying coal in the sector, a passenger train is yet to see the dawn of the day.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the 82-km railway project from Haridaspur to Paradip covering Jajpur, Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur districts was sanctioned in 1996. The then Union Railway Minister Nitish Kumar had laid the foundation stone of the project near Marshaghai in Kendrapara district on April 4, 1999 and promised to complete it by 2004. However, it could not be completed at the stipulated time for several reasons.

Finally, the trial run of goods train was undertaken in 2020, promising the locals that once the required infrastructure is set up, passenger train service in the route will start too.

However delay in the train service has given fodder to the BJD to launch an attack on the central government to which the BJP has bluntly termed as a credit taking strategy by the Odisha government.

Speaking to the reporters, BJP spokesperson, Dilip Mallick said, “COVID pandemic had slowed down the railway’s efforts to start a lot of projects. However, the central government has included 22 stations from Odisha to turn them into model stations. The latest cry from the BJD is a credit taking technique as they know, the passenger train service in Kendrapara is going to be a reality soon.”

(Reported By Manoj Swain, OTV)