Pradeep Pattanayak

A day after Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan took a dig at the Odisha government over the metro rail project, the state government announced the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). 

But the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party is skeptical about the project. The BJP’s Bhubaneswar District President, Babu Singh said that after the 2024 general elections, the project would be found dumped in a dustbin. 

“The government is expert in telling lies and getting a DPR prepared. If the state government is really interested in the metro, why they are not holding any discussions with the central government?  You will find that the project is dumped in a dustbin after the 2024 general elections,” said Babu Singh. 

Hitting out at the saffron party, the ruling BJD said that the state government is executing the project spending money from its own coffers. 

“The Chief Minister has been reiterating that the state government will take responsibility for the project. He is a person known for transforming his words into action,” said BJD MLA, Ananta Narayan Jena. 

The DMRC has prepared the DPR after a traffic survey, topographic survey, geotechnical investigation and assessing its impact on the environment and society. As per the report, in the first phase, the metro line will be 26 kilometers long from Bhubaneswar airport to Trishulia Square with 20 stations. These 20 stations will come up at the Biju Patnaik International Airport, Capital Hospital, Sishu Bhawan, Bapuji Nagar, Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Ram Mandir Square, Vani Vihar, Acharya Vihar, Jayadev Vihar Square, Xavier Square, Rail Sadan, District Centre, Damana, Patia Square, KIIT Square, Nandan Vihar, Raghunathpur, Nandan Kanan Zoo, Phulapokhari, and Trishulia Square. 

“I think it would have been better if the metro route had been finalized after a little more discussion and deliberation. It seems to me, the route finalized for the metro is more suitable for bus or tram. But the metro project is a political decision. As they have the money they can use it as they wish,” said Piyush Rout, a town planner. 

A target has been set to begin the project work in the coming six to eight months time. The project cost is said to be Rs 6,000 crore. The tender process for technical approval will start only after the completion of the design of the project. Subsequently, the project would be expanded to Khordha and Puri. 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced the metro rail project on the occasion of Utkal Divas, on April 1.

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