Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote to Union Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal drawing the latter’s attention over the construction of Railway line from Jaleswar to Digha in South Eastern Railway.

In the letter, Patnaik mentioned that the Digha-Jaleswar Broad Gauge Rail Project (41 kms) was sanctioned by the Ministry of Railways during the year 2011-12. A length of seven kms of the project passes through West Bengal while 34 kms of length passes through Balasore district in Odisha.

Patniak stated that even after seven years of its sanctioning, the project has not yet taken off in terms of construction. It is learnt that the project has been kept on hold as land acquisition in West Bengal portion has not progressed, he added.

Earlier, the CM had proposed a change in the alignment of the aforesaid Broad Gauge Railway line through a letter addressed to the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. Reportedly, the proposed realigned line will pass through the State of Odisha touching various pilgrim and tourist spots like Bhusandheswar, Chandaneswar and Talsari-Udayapur Beach.

Naveen further stated that such a change of alignment will not only help in development of tourism but will also aid in improving the socio - economic condition of the region.

Since such an important project in Odisha has been stalled for more than seven years, Patnaik urged the Union Minister to intervene and take an early decision to change the alignment so that the entire route may pass through Odisha.

The CM has also assured full co-operation for land acquisition and all other necessary support that would be needed by Railways from Odisha.

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