Union Minister Manoj Sinha plays down concerns over bifurcation of ECoR

Bhubaneswar: A day after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed concerns over bifurcation of the Waltair division under the East Coast Railway (ECoR) and sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the matter, Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha today clarified that not even a ‘single inch’ of railway lines in the State has been given to any other divisions.

Sinha said that the Centre will set up a new railway division under the ECoR at Rayagada so there is no reason to worry over the development.

On the other hand, members of the student and youth wings of the ruling-BJD (Biju Chhatra Janata Dal and Biju Yuva Janata Dal) protested the union minister’s visit to the State on the backdrop of decision to bifurcate the ECoR.

Hundreds of BJD workers and leaders led by Sanjay Das Burma took out a bike rally and later staged a road blockade at Jaydev Vihar square by burning tyres following which police detained several agitating BJD workers.

Speaking to mediapersons, party leader Das Burma questioned why the Centre moved on with such a decision to bifurcate the ECoR at a time when it is earning Rs 20,000 crore as revenue annually.

“We were granted a railway zone after lot of demands and ECoR is the pride of Odisha. So the Union Government must answer why it has hurt the dignity of Odisha,” Das Burma said.

On Saturday, CM Naveen wrote to PM Modi seeking his attention to create two more railway divisions in Odisha and unify the entire State under a single Railway zone.