BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allocate Rs. 5000 Cr in railway sector for the year 2016-17 for strengthening and expanding rail infrastructure.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister said the railway route length and rail density in Odisha are very much below national average as also substantially lower than that in neighbouring states while gross earnings from various stations in the state are estimated to be in excess of Rs.14,000 crore during the year 2014-2015.
He said even though central government have initiated many ambitious projects like dedicated freight corridor aligned with mega industrial hubs, national road expressways and high-speed train projects, the projects have completely bypassed Odisha although some of the country’s largest investment in the steel, aluminium and power sectors are coming up here.
Informing that Odisha continues to be one of the most preferred destinations for investment especially in metal, mining and power sectors, he said the nature of industrial activities in the state requires a robust and well-planned railway infrastructure for its sustainability.
He said a large part of Odisha especially the backward regions have remained untouched by the Railways and added that lack of infrastructure had been one of the major reasons which have impeded the socio-economic growth of this region.
“As you must be aware, these areas are also seriously affected by left wing extremism. I believe that delivering rail services in the Naxal-affected regions is one of the best means to catalyse development and provide counteractive force,” he added.
He said the state government has been extending all support to Ministry of Railway for implementation of rail projects in the state.
He also urged to improve passenger amenities at major railway stations as well as in trains.