Odisha told to float spl purpose vehicle for rail projects

New Delhi: Railways have suggested the Odisha Government to float special purpose vehicle to complete some of the long-pending projects in the state.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said in Rajya Sabha that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has “liked the idea” and if the state participates in it, then Railways would take the projects forward.

“During a meeting with Naveen Patnaik here, I proposed the idea to him and he has liked it. We would take the projects forward if the state government participates in the special purpose vehicle,” he said during Question Hour.

Members from the state, including A V Swamy, A U Singhdeo and Bhupinder Singh, pointed to languishing projects in the state such as the Khurda-Balangir rail connectivity and the status of the Nabarangpur-Jeypore rail project, whose execution will not only benefit the KBK region but address issues in the Naxal-affected regions.

The Minister said the survey work has shown “negative rate of return” for the Nabarangpur-Jeypore project though his Ministry is committed to take such projects forward in the larger interest of the state.

In this regard, the Minister said Railways is saddled with projects to the tune of Rs 4-6 lakh crore announced over the years, many of which are not viable.