Naveen Patnaik thanked Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for accepting most the demands in the Railway Budget 2016-17. Odisha got its highest ever allocation of Rs. 4,682 Cr. But, Patnaik also sought MRTS for smart city Bhubaneswar.
BHUBANESWAR: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday thanked Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for Rs 4682 crore allocation to Odisha in the railway budget 2016-17, which is 30 percent more against last year budget outlay.
This is the highest ever allocation to Odisha in any railway budget.
“Total outlay for Odisha for the year 2016-17 is Rs 4682 crores, against a demand of Rs 5000 crore, which is an increase of 30% from last year budget outlay. We appreciate the enhancement in outlay and request Railway Minister not to revise this downwards like last year,” said Patnaik in his reaction.
He said last year actual allotment was 35% less than the original Budget allotment for Odisha.
“We thank Ministry Of Railways for accepting our offer of partnership and sanctioning the two important long standing new line projects of Jeypore-Malkanagiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur. State’s demand for sanctioning the other economically viable lines has been accepted by Railway Minister and we are thankful for the sanction of Junagarh-Ambaguda via Nabarangpur, Bereahmpur-Sambalpur and Banspani-Badbil lines with the partnership of State,” said the chief minister.
State’s demand for extending the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) from Kharagpur to Vijayawada through the coast of Odisha has been accepted, and State Government is thankful for the same too, he added.
Though Odisha has been demanding a Rail based Mass Rapid Transit System for greater Bhubaneswar area, Railways has announced special projects such as Circular Railway for Delhi, 2 new elevated Suburban lines for Mumbai and development of suburban network for cities of Gujarat, TN, Karnataka and Kerala only.
“Considering the fact that Bhubaneswar has now emerged as the number one Smart City in the country, we hope Railways can still include MRTS for greater Bhubaneswar area,” said Patnaik.