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Naveen asks PM to tackle LWE through rail network expansion

Bhubaneswar: Expressing concern over non-implementation of railway projects announced for Orissa in the budget, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday suggested that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh take up some of them to effectively counter the Maoist menace in the region.

"It is a matter of concern that many projects and initiatives those were announced by the Ministry of Railways in previous year budget have failed to make a substantive headway," Patnaik said in a letter to the Prime Minister.

Stating that Orissa was emerging as a mining and metal hub of the country with substantive addition of energy generation capacity, Patnaik said the nature of industrial activities here required robust and well planned rail infrastructure for its stability.

"Khurda-Balangir and Haridaspur-Paradip new rail link projects are cases of concern," Patnaik said adding that a time bound infrastructure up-gradation and expansion arrangement were needed for the upcoming industries, power plants and ports to maximise economic gains.

Almost 70 per cent of Orissa`s interior were either untouched or negligibly touched by the rail network, he said.

"These areas (interior) are seriously affected by left wing extremism and require well planned intervention to counter the same," Patnaik said in the letter.

Stating that he was hopeful about expansion of rail network to the affected region is one of the best means to speed up the pace of development and break the shackles of isolation and backwardness.

Demanding national project tag for Bhadrachalam Road-Talcher railway line (Passing through Malkangiri, Jeypore and Lanjigarh )and Sambalpur-Brahmpur new rail link (via Phulbani), Patnaik said these two projects assumed importance.

"Survey of these lines have been sanctioned and I would like you to advise the ministry of railways to execute these projects on priority basis," Patnaik said in the letter.

Patnaik also sought the PM`s intervention into execution of work for the world class station at Bhubaneswar and Puri.

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