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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Railway ministry and Odisha government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today to expedite the inordinately delayed Khurda-Bolangir rail line within six years’ time.

Railways minister Suresh Prabhu, Odisha Transport minister Ramesh Majhi and Odisha Assembly speaker Niranjan Pujari were present during the signing of the MoU in New Delhi.

As per the MoU, the cost of implementation of Daspalla-Bolangir segment of Khurda Road and Bolangir new broad gauge line would be shared equally between the two. The State government has agreed to provide the required land free of cost. Land acquisition for the project is stipulated to be completed in two and a half years.

The State government has offered the Centre to share half of the project cost and provide the required land free of cost. The cost of construction of the segment is estimated at Rs 2,000 crore. Of the total length of 289 km of the rail route, work on 32 km between Khurda and Begunia has been completed.

Inaugurating the new line on July 16, Prabhu had said Rs 195 crore had been sanctioned for Khurda-Bolangir line and efforts are being on to complete work up to Rajsunakhala beyond Begunia by September this year.

The work for the route, survey for which was done before Independence in 1945, however, started in 2007. While work on the 112-km stretch from Begunia to Daspalla in Nayagarh district is going on, plans are afoot to begin work from Bolangir side. The route would link coastal Odisha with the western region of the State.

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