Bhubaneswar: The Ministry of Railways has notified construction of two new railway line projects in Odisha including the Bargarh Road to Nawapara Road line via Padampur as Special Railway Project. For this project only both the Centre and State Government had locked their horns during the Padampur by-poll.
“In exercise of the powers, conferred by Clause (37A) of Section-2 of the Railways Act, 1989, the Central Government hereby notifies the two project as Special Railway Project in the State of Odisha, with effect from the date of publication of this notification in Official Gazette,” read the gazette notification.
The other project is the new Railway BG line between Talcher & Angul with ‘Y’ Connection at Talcher (16.50 km) of East Coast Railway. The new rail line from Bargarh Road to Nawapara Road (142 km) comes under Sambalpur division of East Coast Railway.
In December 2022, during the Padampur by-poll, the Bargarh-Nuapada railway line via Padampur took a center stage as both BJP and BJD indulged in blame game over delay in starting the project.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with many BJD leaders and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu took a dig at Centre and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw over pro-long delay in execution of the project.
Shrimati Sahu had written a letter to Vaishnaw and requested him to reconsider the 142 km new broad-gauge rail line from Bargarh Road to Nuapada Road via Padampur, which was announced in 2018. The project was “shelved” by the Centre in 2019 for not being financially viable, she had written in the letter.
In his reply, the Railway Minister had said the project work will start as soon as the State Government hands over land for the project. Vaishnaw had blamed the State Government for not approving the DPR for the project.
Later, Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu on Thursday cleared the air and said the DPR is under approval process.
The Railway Board has accorded In-Principle Approval (IPA) to Odisha Railway Infrastructure Development Limited (ORIDL) for taking up preparation of a DPR for Bargarh Road-Nuapada Road new railway line factoring conditions such as the land and RR cost to be borne by Government of Odisha.
Subsequently, ORIDL has prepared the detailed project report (DPR) of the new railway line and the same is under approval process before submission to the Ministry of Railways for further action, she clarified.