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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday sought quick steps by the Centre for running of passenger trains on the new Haridaspur-Paradip railway line at the earliest to fulfill the aspirations of the people.

In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, the Chief Minister said the railway project has taken extremely long time for commissioning but with continuous monitoring, it has finally come to the commissioning stage.

Stating that the project is being executed through a SPV company in which the Odisha Government, Ministry of Shipping and Indian Railways have similar share in equity, Patnaik said the 82 km new line is connecting Kendrapara district to Railway map for the first time.

"As connecting all unconnected districts through Railways is a stated policy, my government invested in equity as sought by Railway, to make this project economically viable," he said.
While most work for commissioning of the new line is now complete, running of passenger traffic over this new line, to fulfill the aspirations of the people of Kendrapara district, is required to be finalized now.

"The SPV company, as per requirement, has already recommended to the Ministry of Railways for approval for running passenger trains," he said.

The chief minister said it is important to understand the connectivity needs of people and especially for people of Kendrapara district, who have not seen a passenger train as yet.

"This is the reason why Odisha government has waived off all stamp duty, registration fee and also premium on land, along with direct monetary equity support to this railway project," he said.

Noting that railway projects are now getting commissioned faster under Goyal's leadership, Patnaik said benefits of rail connectivity will act as a key economic multiplier for people and with his intervention, the same benefit can accrue to the people of Kendrapara.

"Threfore, I kindly request you to accord necessary approval and certification as required, so that a passenger train can be flagged off on this new line at the earliest, preferably in the month of August 2020," the chief minister said.

(PTI)

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