Bhubaneswar: In a sharp reaction to Minister Of State for Railways Rajen Gohain, who recently held Odisha government responsible for the slow pace of railway project work in the State, Odisha Commerce and Transport minister Nrushingha Sahoo today passed the buck by blaming the Centre for inordinate delay in the projects.
"The statement recently made by Union minister Rajen Gohain is completely baseless. The move is just a bid to cover up Central negligence. Odisha government is always committed and concerned for the State projects," Sahoo told reporters here.
The newly inducted minister said delay in placing land requisition for the railway projects is the main reason for delay in the projects. "Talcher-Bimlagarh project, which was sanctioned in 2010, received the land requisition in 2016. Jeypore-Nabarangpur and Jeypore-Malkangiri projects were sanctioned in 2016-17 budget. But, the land requisition is yet to be placed," he rued.
Moreover, CM Naveen Patnaik has demanded three trains-Bhubaneswar-New Delhi via Sambalpur, Khurda-Mumbai and train to Allahabad via Sambalpur, Bolangir, Bargarh. But the Centre has turned a deaf ear to the demands, the minister said.
The projects are also delayed due to the Railway PSU, RVNL, Sahoo pointed out. “It took 15 years to complete the doubling of Baranga-Raja Athagarh line. Similarly, Paradip-Haridaspur, Angul-Sukinda, Sambalpur-Titilagarh and Titilagarh-Raipur doubling was delayed, alleged Sahoo,” the minister maintained.