Odisha Congress opposes bifurcation of ECoR by Centre

Bhubaneswar: Strongly opposing the move of the Centre to bifurcate Waltair railway division of East Coast Railway, Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik today accused the Central government of discriminating against the State.

Speaking to media in Bhubaneswar today, Patnaik alleged that the Centre has taken this decision as part of a strategy to discriminate against the State and also threatened that the party will launch agitation protesting the move.

On Wednesday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced a new railway division named South Coast Railway with its headquarters at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The new zone was formed as per item 8 of schedule 13 (Infrastructure) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

The new zone will comprise of existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions. It will also include around half of the Waltair Division of East Coast Railway (ECoR). The rest of the Waltair division will become a separate division with its headquarters at Rayagada and will remain under ECoR.

Meanwhile, commenting on the long-standing demand for inclusion of Rourkela (which is currently under Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway) in the ECoR, senior journalist Dillip Satapathy said, “While some portion of the ECoR has been bifurcated for South Coast Railway, the Centre should also bifurcate South Eastern Railway for the inclusion of areas under Odisha in ECoR.”

Earlier in February 2018, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also urged the Centre to consider expanding the jurisdiction of East Coast Railway (ECoR) to unify Odisha under one zone.