With delay in land acquisition being a major issue in Odisha, the Union Government has pointed out that for laying railway lines more than 15,000 Acres of land is needed which are yet to be acquired by the State Government.
Union Minister Railways, Piyush Goyal, who held discussion with the Odisha State Legislative Assembly Committee on 11 February has listed out that the requirement of land needed to be taken up on priority basis for laying Railway Projects.
A senior official of Ministry of Railways said that at least 15,473 Acres of land is needed to be acquired by the State Government for 19 Railway Projects.
Giving out details he said 7623 Acres of private land, 2291 Acres of government land and 5559 Acres of forest land is required for 19 Railway Projects.
15 Major Railway Projects are suffering due to land, forest, encroachment and agitation by the local people and State Government’s support in this regard is needed, he said.
While the Union Government is eager to fast track the establishment of Railway Projects, help for sorting out issues of land, encroachment, agitation and forest clearance are required to be taken up by the State Government.
Take for example, much hyped 289 KM long Khurda-Balangir Railway Project, land required for KM112 to 289 is pending with State Government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the progress and asked to fast track the project implementation; however land acquisition is needed to be taken up by the State Government, pointed out he.
Citing another example, he said Minister of Railways had written to Member of Parliament for taking up land acquisition issue with the State Government for setting up of New Jeypore-Nabarangpur and Jeypore-Malkangiri.
Unless land acquisition is taken up on a priority basis fast tracking the Railway Project will not be possible, admit officials.
Similarly land acquisition of both government and private for crucial Angul-Sukinda and Haridaspur-Paradeep New Rail Line Project is needed and it is pending with the State Government, said the senior official.
Recently Union Minister of Railways had requested Chief Minister to go ahead for free land provision of 18KM by the Odisha Government for Buramura-Chakulia New Rail Line with a length of 55 KM.
While Buramura-Chakulia Rail Project is coming up in both Odisha and Jharkhand State, Government of Jharkhand has been requested to make provision of free land of 37 KM of their portion.
Jharkhand Government is taking steps in this regard and Odisha Government is urged to do so for taking up the Critical Project.
At least Five Super Critical and Six Critical Projects are suffering due to land, forest, encroachment and agitation issues, said he.
Much Hyped Jaleswar-Digha Rail Project is kept on hold due to various reasons.
Firstly Odisha Government requested for alignment change and the proposal was examined technically and was not found feasible technically and financially as it is costly and too far from habitation.
Secondly so far the Project is concerned; Government of West Bengal has refused to acquire land for the rail line, informed the officer.
Out of the total 41 KM, Odisha covers 34 KM and West Bengal is covering 07 KM.
As West Bengal has refused to acquire land for the project and proposal is not financially and technically feasible it is held up now, said he.