BHUBANESWAR: The shifting of proposed rail wagon repair factory from Narla in Odisha Kalahandi district to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh rocked the state assembly as both the ruling BJD and opposition Congress members raised the issue on Monday.
As pandemonium prevailed in the House, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the house till 3 pm. Later, the members of BJP and Congress staged a walk out after the speaker did not allow a discussion over the issue after the house began reassembling.
Raising the issue during zero hours, BJD member Amar Prasad Satapathy described the decision as an instance of Centre’s negligence towards Odisha.
Samir Ranjan Dash, the BJD spokesperson, also criticised the union government for its decision to shift the wagaon factory from Odisha to Andhra Pradesh.
The Congress party blamed both the NDA and state governments for shifting of the wagon factory to the neighbouring state. They blamed Odisha MPs and alleged that how they did not get a whiff of it and raise the issue in Lok Sabha.
The leader of the opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra said the Lok Sabha members had not been able to mount pressure on the Centre. As a result, the ministry of railways could think of shifting the proposed rail wagon factory.
Mishra said the step motherly attitude of NDA government and inefficiency of BJD government were responsible for the shifting of wagon factory to Andhra Pradesh.
BJP MLA Rabi Narayan Naik, however, said there was no decision over shifting of the wagon repair unit from the state.
He said only a recommendation had been made to the Railway Board by the East Coast Railways while there was no final decision had been taken by the ministry. He said BJP would fight for the interest of the state.
Notably, the shifting of the rail project came to the fore through a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by one Hemant Panda in Bolangir district. The leader of opposition Mishra claimed that Panda was a Congress Party activist.
In reply to his query, the railway authorities said that the decision to shift the factory was taken in view of the operational benefits available at Visakhapatnam.