BJD slams Centre over negligence

Bhubaneswar: Alleging gross negligence towards railways and backward KBK region of Odisha, ruling BJD MLAs in the state on Friday favoured a censure motion against the Congress led UPA government at the Centre.

The issue was raised by BJD members during zero hour in the assembly where MLAs pointed out how budgetary allocation in railways for the year 2012-13 was reduced from Rs 723 crore to Rs Rs 637 crore.

Railway Budget is a mockery as it sanctioned Rs 1,000 each for development of railway stations at Malatipatpur, Nirgundi, Bargarh Road, Jeypore and Koraput railway stations, pointed out former minister and BJD member Pratap Jena.

"Railways negligence is a fit case to bring a censure motion against the Centre," Jena said adding many people also died in the state due to unmanned level crossings.

Supporting Jena, another BJD MLA Amar Satpathy said budgetary allocation for different ongoing projects were reduced. While the state government had demanded Rs 2345 crore for development of railway infrastructure in the state during 2012-13, the Centre sanctioned only Rs 723 crore. "They later reduced the amount by Rs 186 crore," Satpathy said.

Former minister R P Swain also expressed concern over Railways move to reduce the limit of East Coast Railway Zone.

Former minister A U Singhdeo demanded a resolution in the assembly over the Centre`s denial of special package for the KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region of the state.

Though the state government had been demanding a special package of Rs 4,500 crore for the development of the KBK region through an eight year perspective plan, the Planning Commission had kept the proposal in cold storage.

"While we are told that the poverty hit KBK region is getting funds under IAP and BRGF, the Planning Commission sanctioned Rs 7,266 crore for Bundelkhand area," Singhdeo said.

Seeking a full fledged discussion on the matter, he said this assembly should adopt a resolution condemning the Centre`s attitude towards the people of KBK region.

BJP legislature Party leader K V Singhdeo too backed the proposal and recalled how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Odisha MPs that money do not grow on trees. "I urge the government to make a resolution in this regard," he said.

Welcoming a special debate on the matter, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh of Congress slammed the state government for not taking views, suggestions and help of opposition parties for state`s interest.