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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday thanked Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for accepting major demands of our State.

Talking to media persons Patnaik said, “I am thankful to the Union Railway Minister for accepting major demands of our state.”

Patnaik added, “Total outlay for Odisha for the year 2016-17 is Rs 4,682 crore, against a demand of Rs 5,000 crore, which is an increase by 30 percent from last year budget outlay. We appreciate the enhancement in outlay and request railway minister not to revise this downwards like last year," noting that last year's actual allotment was 35 percent less than the original allotment for Odisha.

Noting the state government has been offering to bear the construction cost as well as to give land free of cot to important projects, Patnaik said, “We thank the ministry of railways for accepting our offer of partnership and sanctioning the two important long-sought new projects of Jeypore-Malkangiri, Jeypore-Nabarangpur.”

The chief minster added, “The State's demand for sanctioning the other economically viable lines has been accepted by railway minister and we are thankful for the sanction of Junagarh-Ambaguda via Nabarangpur, Berhampur-Sambalpur and Banspani-Barbil lines with partnership of state."

He also shown his gratitude for accepting the State’s demand for extending the eastern dedicated freight corridor for Kharagpur to Vijayawada through the coast of Odisha.

While mentioning about the selection of Bhubaneswar as No 1 smart city in the country, the Chief Minster said, “We hope railways can still include rail-based Massive Rapid Transit System (MRTS) for greater Bhubaneswar areas.

Pathaik said, “Though two new locomotive factories were announced under the ‘Make In India’ scheme, the already-sanctioned wagon factory at Sitallapalli in Ganjam district, which was announced in 2011-12, has got an absolute token provision of Rs 1,000. We expect to enhance the grant this year.”

Noting the State government is developing the Bhubaneswar station with world-class facilities, Patnaik said, “Odisha has been asking railways for similar redevelopments of Bhubaneswar New, Puri, Naraj and Cuttack stations. Though no specific announcements have been made in the budget, railways has announced for 400 stations to be redeveloped through PPP mode. We hope and expect important stations of Odisha are taken up under the scheme.”

The chief minister also thanked MPs of Odisha from both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha as well as the Standing Committee of Odisha Legislative Assembly for following up the State’s case with the Central government.

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