Blame For Rail Land


Union Minister for Railways, Manoj Sinha has blamed Odisha Government in failing its efforts to acquire and hand over land for the Railways Projects, which is  causing "undue delay" in several projects in the State..

 
Mr.Sinha, who launched a slew of railway facilities at a ceremony here, said the Union Government is eager for speedy implementation of the projects, but the Odisha Government must cooperate by expediting the process of land acquisition.

"Several railway projects in Odisha are moving at snail’s pace as the State Government is yet to hand over the required land," the Mr.Sinha pointed out.
 
Union Minister said the sooner the required land is made available, the quicker the rail projects will be completed as the Centre’s priority is to complete all projects as early as possible.
 
Minister revealed that at least Rs 27,000 crore has been allocated for the Railway Sector in the state during the last five years.

He pointed out that even adequate land is yet to be given for the ongoing 289-km Khurda-Balangir Rail Line project.
 
"While some land has been provided, railways require additional 327.93 acre in Nayagarh, 2,059.43 acre in Boudh, 528.31 acre in Sonepur and 38.96 acre in Balangir, which the State Government is yet to provide," Mr.Sinha said.
 
Out of the 289-KM, Khurda-Balangir rail line, work has been completed "only on 66 km from Khurda Road to Nayagarh and 15 km from Balangir to Bichhupali", an official said.
 
Earlier in the day, the student and youth wings of the BJD staged a demonstration near the East Coast Railway (ECoR) headquarters, ahead of the Minister's program, protesting the alleged bifurcation of Waltair division of ECoR.
 
BJD Veteran, Sanjay Dasburma blamed the Union Government for its decision to "Bifurcate the ECoR" at a time when it is earning "Rs 20,000 crore as revenue every year".

However, Mr.Sinha rejected the allegations and said that not even a "single inch" of railway line in Odisha has been given to any other division.

"There is no reason for Odisha to worry as the Union Government will set up a new Railway Division under the ECoR at Rayagada, which will ensure development of the region," he told Media Men.
 
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was also present on the occasion, said bifurcation of Waltair division was done as per provisions laid down for reorganization of Andhra Pradesh.
 
"When the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill was discussed in Parliament, not a single BJD MP raised any objection... Why are they shedding crocodile tears now," Mr.Pradhan said. 


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