Bhubaneswar: The long awaited forest clearance issue of Khurda Road – Balangir Rail Line project has been cleared due to the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of Environment & Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav.
68 KMs Railway section of ongoing Khurda Road-Balangir Rail Line project between Dasapalla and Purunakatak, i.e. from KMs 112 to KMs 180 has now been given forest clearance.
This project will connect Balangir, Sonepur, Phulbani, Boudh, Nayagarh and Khurda districts and will build up another rail link between Western and Coastal Odisha.
Khurda Road-Balangir Rail Line project was sanctioned in 1994-95. This project was being delayed for many issues like Court Cases, Forest clearance, etc. Since 2014-15, the project has been speeded up. Till now, 115 Kms stretch of rail line out of 301 Kms has been commissioned. (90 Km from Khurda Road to Nuagaon) & 25 Km from Bolangir to Jharatarabha). Nuagaon – Daspalla from Khurda Road end & Jharatarabha – Khambeswarpali from Bolangir end is targeted for commissioning this financial year. Slow progress of the project was due to delay in handing over of required land & forest clearance. Forest clearance & working permission was pending for 1469 Acs of forest land in between Dasapalla & Purunakatak (Km 112 – Km 180).
The 15.5Kms stretch Railway section between Nuagaon and Dasapalla has been targeted to be completed by March 2023 has 57 Minor & 3 Major Bridges along with 15 Road Under Bridges (RUBs) and 04 Road Over Bridges (ROBs). Similarly, Jhartarbha-Khambeswarpalli-Sonepur (11.40+10.30=21.70Kms) is targeted to be completed by March 2023. Work is in progress except in between Buguda & Purunakatak. Overall target for the project is December 2025 subject to availability of 97.59 acres of Private land, 262.75 acres of Govt. land and Stage-I forest clearance from Km 112-180.
Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw is giving priority for the development of railway infrastructure of the region along with various project works going in Odisha and also is monitoring the developmental works regularly.
Khurda Road – Balangir Rail Line project is one of the focus projects of Vaishnaw as this project is also being the focus project of Hon’ble Prime Minister.
This issue of long pending forest clearance has finally received approval after the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and support from Minister of Environment & Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav.
Vaishnaw also advised Railway officials of ECoR to work with proper coordination with the all agencies from the grassroots to short-out land acquisition and other issues raised during construction of the much awaited public centric project.
He also advised Railway officials that only grassroot level coordination can result in early completion of Khurda Road-Balangir Rail Line.