Silence Over Less Funds

Governing BJD and Opposition Congress today surprised many in the state even as the Centre allocated Rs 220 crore less amount in the Union Budget for the 2020-21 Fiscal.

The State has been allocated with Rs 4,373 crore for different railway projects against the previous year’s Rs 4,593 crore.

Though Indian Railway used to earn more than Rs 10,000 crore from the state in an annum, the allocation for the state continued to remain less than Rs 5,000 crore.

However, the amount for railway infrastructure for Odisha, was Rs 5,993 crore in 2019-20 fiscal as NTPC invested Rs 1,400 crore for the development of the railway project connecting Jharsuguda-Barpalli Coal corridor.

As the project has been commissioned this time, there is no such investment from the NTPC or any other central agencies.

What has surprised the people of Odisha is that the Governing BJD which is committed to fight for the state’s interest remained silent.

Opposition Congress’s silence also added to the confusion of the people.

Neither the Chief Minister nor the BJD as a party reacted over the rail allocation even as party MP Prasanna Acharya said the state was expecting more.

Mr.Acharya did not made the statement on his own, but while replying reporters at the Lok Seva Bhawan.

Mr.Acharya and other BJD leaders had been to Lok Seva Bhawan to meet the Chief Minister on the people unrest in Bargarh over shifting of the district headquarters hospital from the town.

BJP State President Samir Mohanty was prompt to react over the railway allocation and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"So far the Modi Government has allocated Rs 29,121 crore for Odisha," Mr.Mohanty said.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also praised the Prime Minister and Union Railway Minister for the better allocation for the state. 

The total outlay for East Coast Railway Zone including Odisha is Rs 5,865 crore in 2020-21 fiscal, a railway official said, claiming that all major projects in the state have got a significant increase in allotment.

"Allotment has been made on the basis of need of each project and requirement at the site. So there has been an enhancement in case of all projects. Each project has been reviewed and amount allotted accordingly," the official said.

He said the Khurda Road-Balangir line has been given Rs 520 crores against Rs 350 crore last year while Angul- Sukinda project has got Rs 450 crore against Rs 250 crore last year.

As Haridaspur-Paradeep project will be commissioned this year by March, only Rs 100 crore has been allotted in 2020-21 budget as the project is nearing completion, the official said, adding that this project was allotted Rs 400 crore last year.

This apart, the official said: "There is a significant increase in allotment towards doubling projects especially, Sambalpur-Talcher, Sambalpur-Titlagarh, Titlagarh-Rayagada and Titlagarh-Raipur."

The electrification of Khurda Road-Bolangir line and Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh Road line has been given priority, the official said, adding that Wagon Repair Workshop at Maneswar near Sambalpur has been given Rs 20 crore.
"To enhance safety and to eliminate level crossings, constructing Road Over Bridge (ROBs) and Road Under Bridges (RUBs) have been given top priority and Rs 1,165 crore have been sanctioned," the official said.



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