Union Minister Manoj Sinha targets Odisha govt over delay in railway projects

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha on Monday targeted Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government for delay in various projects in the State due to problems in land acquisition.

“The Railways has given many projects to Odisha in the past and is dedicated to come up with many more. We have already started work from Bichhupalli in Bolangir district on Khurda Road-Bolangir railway line. We have also expedited the doubling work of Sambalpur-Titlagarh and Titlagarh-Raipur railway lines and completed the electrification work on Jharsuguda-Vizianagaram via Sambalpur, Titlagarh and Rayagada railways routes,” informed Sinha.

“However, due to delay in land acquisition by the Odisha Government, many railway projects are getting delayed,” alleged Sinha.

Sinha further added, “We need 327.93 acre of land in Nayagarh for completing Khurda Road-Bolangir railway project. Similarly, the State Government is yet to allot us 2059.43 acre land in Boudh, 528.31 acre in Sonepur and 38.96 acre in Bolangir for the railway projects. If the Odisha Government allots us the required land at the earliest we can speed up the projects. There is no dearth of money with the Railways and if the State supports us, we will complete the projects soon.”

Meanwhile, Sinha also announced the extension of Gondwana Expresss train to Sambalpur via Jharsuguda Road and Shalimar via Talcher three days in a week.

Sinha also announced new stoppages for as many as ten trains –

  1. Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express (20817/18) will have a new stoppage at Dhenkanal Railway Station
  2. Howrah-Satya Sai Nilaya Prashanti Express (22831/32) at Balasore Railway Station
  3. Haladia-Madras Superfast Express (22613/14) at Balasore Railway Station
  4. Howrah-Kanyakumari Express (12665/66) at Bhadrak Railway Station
  5. Purulia-Villupuram Express (22605/06) at Jaleshwar Railway Station
  6. Paradip-Puri Express (18413/14) at Kanas Road Railway Station
  7. Howrah-Puri Express (12821/22) at Markona Railway Station
  8. Ndls-Puri Neelachal Superfast Express (12875/12876) at Dhanamandal Railway Station
  9. Kendujhargarh-Bhubaneswar Passenger Train (58425/58426) at Dhanmandal Railway Station
  10. Barbil-Puri Passenger Train (18415/16) at Kanas Road Railway Station

Besides, the Sinha along with Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan laid the foundation stone of a New Escalator at Bhubaneswar Railway Station and inaugurated an Escalator and Foot Over Bridge at Berhampur Railway Station and improved Circulating Area at Talcher Railway Station through video conferencing.

“When a decision was taken on Waltair railway division, BJD MPs didn’t raise any objection in 2014 but now they are shedding crocodile tears,” said Pradhan.

On the other hand, BJD leader Sanjay Das Burma said, “We want the union minister to refrain from taking such anti-Odisha step or else befitting reply will be given by the youth of Odisha in the upcoming days. If required we will also resort to economic blockade.”