With Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking lot of interest on completion of Khurda Balangir Rail Line Project, the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has decided to review the implementation of the Project.
Prime Minister Mr.Modi reviewed the project on 22 January in Pragati Meeting and asked to speed up the process with more coordination between the concerned departments.
Cabinet Secretariat is in touch with Odisha Government, Ministry of Railways, and Ministry of Environment and Forest in this regard.
Cabinet Secretary Mr. Gauba will review the Project at Cabinet Secretariat on 22 February, said official sources.
The proposed Khurda Bolangir Railway line was envisaged for connecting Eastern and Western Odisha through rail link passing through under developed areas districts like Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Boudh, Sonepur and Bolangir.
It will provide infrastructure support for industrial development and lead to hinterland development.
Indian Railways sources said the project was conceived in 1995 has been taken in 4 phases of Khurda Road – Begunia (0-36 KM), Begunia – Daspala (36 – 112 KM), Daspalla – Sonepur (112 – 240 KM) and Sonepur – Bolangir (240 – 289 KM).
The rail work up to 36 KM stretch is completed from Balangir side and commissioned for passenger traffic.
Prime Minister Mr.Modi inaugurated a rail line stretch of Balangir to Bichhupali on 16 January, 2019 and flagged of a train.
Work on 36-80 KM stretch is in progress from Balangir side. Dasapala– Sonepur – Bolangir sections are being taken up with partial funding by Government of Odisha.
MOU was been signed with Odisha Government in 2015. Of the 6600 hectare required land, 1700 hectare land is acquired. Joint field surveys for Dasapala – Sonepur – Bolangir sections have been taken up, officials say.
Officials also say that State Government should expeditiously complete the land acquisition of 4900 acres for the project.
Cabinet Secretary will thoroughly review progress including the land acquisition and forest clearances which are in the nature of ongoing work-in-progress and progressing as per time-lines.
While entire land up to Daspalla has been handed over to Railways, but work has been not been taken up.
The State Government is harping on the need for substantial progress of the project from Bolangir side and Railways authorities are needed to be activated in this regard.
Prime Minister Mr.Modi has been reviewing the progress of the project since 2015 as he found out in 2014 that the much required rail project has failed to take off though it was planned to be commissioned in 2000.
Repeated review in Pragati Meetings has resulted in progress and now Cabinet Secretary will take up review to speed up the matter.
Senior officials of Cabinet Secretariat will be visiting Bhubaneswar in the first week of February to have a meeting with Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.
Mr.Tripathy has been continuously monitoring the progress of the project and he is harping on expeditious work from the both the sides, so that the work of the project will be completed.