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State misses Rlys’ Station modernisation initiative




 While Indian Railways is taking up modernization of several major railway stations in the Country, not a single Railway Station in Odisha has been included in the list.

Odisha has missed the modernization spree of the Ministry of Railways though two major railway stations in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh are among the 23 stations are being revamped during the second phase of its mega modernization program.

Tenders for modernization of the 23 stations, including Kanpur Central and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh are being floated as well, pointed out Chitta Baral, a vigilant NRO, who keeps track of the developments taking place in the country-vis-à-vis Odisha.

Professor Baral has written to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard and urged the State Government to demand its genuine share for development of the Railway Sector.

He said other stations include Lokamanya Tilak, Pune, Thane, Visakhapatnam, Howrah, Kamakhya, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi, Udaipur City, Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Ranchi, Chennai Central, Kozhikode, Yesvantpur, Bangalore Cantt, Bhopal, Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus, Borivali and Indore.

The first set of stations was Habibganj, Surat, Anand Vihar, Bijwasan, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Mohali and Gandhinagar.

Another active NRO Digambar Patra has also raised the issue of Kantabanji-Jeypore railway line via Khariar, Dharamgarh, Koksara, which has been a long pending demand since past 50 years.

After continuous demand, Ministry of Railways had proposed to survey this line more than a decade ago during pervious NDA Government keeping connectivity of backward KBK, especially Balangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Koraput in mind.

Importantly, Kantabanji – Jeypore railway line will connect Balangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Koraput districts to boost economy and communication in the local level while connecting interior part of these districts with Raipur, Bhilai, Nagpur, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata.

Despite the slow progress of this project, the State Government has not taken any proactive initiative to fulfil the long standing local demand though there is a persistent demand from people of Khariar, Sinapali, Golamunda, Dharamgarh and Koksara region to take up this project immediately.

Similarly, Raipur-Rajim –Dharamgarh-Junagarh railway line is being under surveyed. This route by extending to Lanjigarh road-Berhampur will provide access South East Asian countries from Raipur, Bhilai, Nagpur and central India via Gopalpur port.

This will further reduce distance between Gopalpur port and Nagpur and make Gopalpur port as competitive as Mumbai port from Nagpur or Central India region to access East Asia market.

At the same time, it will bring railway infrastructure to the Maoist and tribal dominated region and connect Ganjam/Berhampur, Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Gariaband and Raipur districts with Raipur and Nagpur. This will also establish a direct connection between Raipur and Talcher along with Talcher-Lanjigarh road proposed route.

Survey work of Raipur-Rajim-Debhog-Junagarh is almost complete and this route should be approved immediately.

“Sadly, both the State Government and Indian Railways have not taken proactive step for immediate approval and completion of these two projects. So both these projects are needed to be taken up in the Budget 2017-18, for which the State Government has to demand seriously,” said Professor Patra.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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