Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote to Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal and placed a demand for allocation of Rs 6500 crore in the upcoming budget towards development of railways in Odisha.

Apart from urging the Union Minister for expediting ongoing projects, sanctioning of new lines and trains, station modernization to establishment of freight corridors, Patnaik has demanded for six new railway lines for the State.

In his letter, Patnaik wrote, “The State government has demarcated rail connectivity as a priority area with the mandate to extend reach of rail network to each and every district.”

The proposed six new railway lines include-  Brahmapur-Phulbani-Sambalpur, Bargarh-Nuapara via Padampur, Bhadranchalam-Malkangiri, Talcher-Gopalpur, Gopalpur-Singapur Road new BG line and Lanjigarh-Talcher.

Odisha has also expressed the need for detailed planning to introduce a rail based mass rapid transit system between twin cities Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.

In the letter, Patnaik also urged the union minister to reorganize administrative structure of East Coast Railway and establish new Divisional Headquarters at Rayagada, Jajpur-Keonjhar Road and Rourkela by extending its jurisdiction to include Banspani-Padapahar, Bhadrak-Lakhmannath sections in Khurda Road division and Jharsuguda-Barsuan-Kiriburu, Rourkela-Nuagaon and Jharsuguda-Himagiri sections in Sambalpur divisions.

With Odisha fast emerging as the mining and metal hub of the country, the growth of rail borne traffic in excess of 450 MTA in near future will likely put enormous pressure on existing logistic infrastructure. Hence, there is a need is a urgent requirement of a dedicated freight corridor from Kharagpur to Vijaywada and East-West dedicated from Jharsuguda to Bilaspur to ensure seamless movement of freight between upcoming ports (Kirtania, Chudamani, Dhamra, Astarang and Gopal) and northern and central hinterlands in the country, Patnaik pointed out in the letter.

Patnaik has also requested the union ministry to sanction short links between Talcher-Angul, Paradip-Dhamra, Champua-Anandpur-Jajpur and Barsuan-Banspal-Barbil lines.

This apart, the CM has also proposed to bear 50 percent of construction and land cost for Puri-Konark line.

Chief Minister Patnaik has also sought early action from the minister for running of passenger trains in Angul-Dubri-Sukinda and Haridaspur-Paradip rail links and introduction of DEMU services for travelling needs of daily commuters in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Rourkela, Cuttack-Paradip, Berhampur-Balasore, Rourkela-Keonjhar via Barbil.

The State has demanded for a new train in the name of eminent freedom fighter Bakshi Jagabandhu from Khurda to Mumbai to commemorate the bi-centenary year of Paika Rebellion.

Odisha has also expressed concern over tardy progress of several projects including laying of new lines for Talcher-Bimlagarh and Jaleswar-Digha, doubling of Sambalpur-Titlagarh, Titlagarh-Raipur, Sambalpur-Talcher and Daitari-Keonjhar-Banspani and 3rd line of Bhadrak-Nergundi-Vijianagaram stretch.