Rail sector became the gainer in Odisha post-Modi: MoS Sinha

Bhubaneswar: Side-stepping the question on the fate of proposed rail wagon projects in Ganjam and Kalahandi districts, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha today claimed the sector in the state gained during the BJP-led NDA government unlike the “neglect in past”.

The country is witnessing a high level production of rail wagons compared to requirement and the focus, therefore, is on decongestion in Odisha sector, Sinha told reporters here.

He was responding to queries about the fate of the proposed wagon factory at Sitalpalli in Ganjam district and wagon repair unit at Narla in Kalahandi.

“There is surplus production of wagons in both public and private manufacturing sector,” he said without giving a direct reply whether the proposed wagon factory would be set up at Sitalpalli, though a token Rs 1,000 was provided for it in the Railway Budget.

However, regarding the proposed wagon repair and overhauling unit at Narla, Sinha said necessary steps are being taken in this regard as part of plans to launch a number of projets for rapid development of railway in the state.

The matter has been discussed with the Odisha government, he said.

Claiming that Odisha had been “neglected” in the past, mainly in railway sector, Sinha said earlier an average Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 1,200 crore had been allocated in the rail budget.

However, the state is now getting benefitted substantially after the BJP-led NDA came to power at the Centre with around 30 per cent jump in its share in the Railway Budget, he claimed.

While Rs 3,712 crore was allocated for Odisha in the budget for 2015-16, the amount was further raised to Rs 4,682 crore in 2016-17 Rail Budget, the minister said. MORE PTI SKN SUS ASV