Khurda: Delay in land acquisition and environmental clearances have come in the way of early completion of much awaited Khurda-Bolangir railway project.The State government has failed to complete the land acquisition process for the project as most of the land patches come under private or forest land category.

Out of 298 km Khurda-Bolangir railway project, train services have been operationalised only on 66 kms from Khurda to Nayagarh. As a result, the expectations of people in the area have been partially fulfilled. Tracks are being laid for 12 km from Nayagarh to Mahipur and once the work is complete, train services will start on 78 kms from Khurda side.

“Since long we were hearing that survey work for the railway project was completed. But now we see a ray of hope, as railway tracks are being laid," said Ramesh, a resident of Mahipur.

A resident of Manikagoda, Karsida Begum said, “Earlier we used to travel five kms to catch a bus. After the train service has been commissioned, life has become easier for us.”

The new project will increase businesses and create new opportunities in the area. Keeping in view the prospects, cost of land has also skyrocketed in the area, stated Subash Chandra Khatua, a resident of Rajasunakhela.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Odisha and inaugurate the newly-constructed 19 km track from Bolangir side on January 15.

Work to lay railway tracks on Nayagarh-Mahipur route is going on a war footing and the project will be over soon, said Tatwadarshi Sahu, Deputy Chie Engineer, of the Khurda-Bolangir Railway project.

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