Expedite Khurda-Balangir railway project work: CM tells officials

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday directed the concerned department officials to expedite the much-awaited Khurda-Balangir railway project.

He also directed the officials to expedite the land acquisition process for the said project.

In his bi-monthly review meeting on the project work at the State Secretariat here, the chief minister, while expressing satisfaction over extension of railway up to Rajsunakhala in Nayagarh district, asked the Railway officials to take up 90-km project work since the state government has already handed over the required land to the Railways.

He also asked the Railway officials to immediately take up the work from Balangir as the state government has identified land for construction of project work up to 19 km and paid Rs 8 crore to East Coast Railway (ECoR).

The chief minister asked the Revenue department and Commerce and Transport department to work in coordination to complete the process of land acquisition and asked the Railway officials to submit a proposal for forest diversion work under the project with immediate effect.

It was revealed in the meeting that out of a total of 289 km under the project, construction work in 41.5 km has been completed up to Rajsunakhala from Khurda. At present two up and down passenger trains are plying from Khurda to Rajsunakhala. As informed by the Railway officials present at the meeting, while work from Rajsunakhala to Bolagarh and Nayagarh is underway, the construction work up to Bolagarh and Nayagarh would by June next year and by 2017 respectively.

Apart from this, work is underway at different stages for Daspalla-Balangir project while proposals on land acquisition, forest diversion and other works have been given to the state government, the Railway officials, said while informing that the 19-km railway work from Bolangir would begin from December.

Among others, Commerce and Transport minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi, MP Prasanna Patsani, chief secretary, development commissioner, additional chief secretary, Finance, General Manager, ECoR and senior officials of the concerned departments were present at the meeting.

It may be mentioned that the state government had signed a MoU with the Railways on July 20 this year. As per the agreement, the state government would bear the total cost towards land acquisition and 50 percent of the total project cost which is estimated at Rs 2000 crore.