Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Odisha House Committee on Railways headed by Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro on Tuesday met Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum demanding more funds for the State.

In the memorandum to Goyal, the panel reportedly demanded more budgetary allocation for new railway lines for Puri-Konark, Jajpur-Dhamra, Bargarh-Nuapada and Mayurbhanj, running of special train in the name of Buxi Jagabandhu and a new Surat-Bhubaneswar express train.

Piyush Goyal reportedly told the delegation that there is no dearth of funds for the development of railways and Odisha will be provided with all types of help (financial) after the State completes land acquisition for the railway projects.

Funds will not be a constraint for the ongoing railway projects but the State needs to sort out the land acquisition issues which are delaying several projects in Odisha, said Goyal.

Besides, the Union Minister reportedly shared some details with the committee stating that Odisha has been given sufficient funds as the allocation to the State in the Railway Budget is done in a zone-wise manner and not State wise.

Surjya Patro said, "There is no problem in allocating more funds but the minister (Goyal) wants some railway projects to be completed. Besides, the Centre is ready to allocate funds provided the State acquires the required land for the projects," Patro said.

"What Odisha has got in five years of Congress rule, the Centre is giving almost more than that every year. If Odisha government completes the required land acquisition for railway projects, the Centre will have no problems in releasing more funds," said Union Minister Pratap Sarangi.

Odisha has been allocated Rs 4,373 crore for railways in 2020-21 budget against Rs 5,993 crore last year.