Odisha govt seeks Rs 5870 crore railway package in 2017-18 budget

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday requested the center to grant Rs 5870 crore package in the forthcoming Budget 2017-18 for increasing railway connectivity in the state.

In a letter to Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said this package will help both Odisha and Indian Railways in furthering their goals of economic and social justice.

“This package of Rs 5870 crore includes detailed proposals for the ongoing projects, sanctioning of new lines, station modernization, the introduction of new trains, the extension of existing trains, improved passenger amenities at stations, on board services, establishment of rail-based industries, multi-modal logistics parks etc.,” said the Chief Minister.

Informing that a large expanse of Odisha has remained untouched by the Railways, he urged Indian Railways to support the State Government’s vision to extend the reach of the rail network to the farthest parts of Odisha, specifically the regions that have not got the opportunity to grow with rail connectivity.

He said Odisha is fast emerging as the mining and metal hub of the country with the substantive addition of power generation capacity.

The volume of investments in diverse sectors at differing stages is about Rs.8,85,000 crore. A comprehensive plan also has been prepared for developing deepwater seaports along the Odisha Coast, he added.

“It is expected that the growth in rail-borne traffic will be in excess of 450 MTA in the next five years and pressure on existing logistic infrastructure shall be enormous. In this context, I will request you to initiate the east coast dedicated freight corridor from Kharagpur to Vijaywada and east-west dedicated freight corridor from Jharsuguda to Bilaspur to ensure seamless movement of freight between the upcoming ports (Kirtania, Chudamani, Dhamra, Astarang and Gopalpur) on the Odisha coast along with the major port at Paradip,” said the Chief Minister.

He also requested to upgrade various railway station and expedite the work for Angul-Sukinda-Duburi and Haridaspur-Paradip rail links.

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