Odisha asks Centre Rs 5870 crore in rail budget
Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has asked the Centre to allocate Rs 5870 crore for the state during the 2017-18 railway budget. CM Naveen Patnaik wrote to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu for the same and also requested for a number of new projects and gave feedback on the work of ongoing projects by Rail Vikash Nigam Limited (RVNL).
The CM highlighted that Odisha brings over Rs 15,000 crore revenue to Indian Railways and yet the rail density for the state is 15 which is much lower than the National average of 19 and those of West Bengal (43) and Jharkhand (24).
In the proposal for railway budget, the CM also reminded the Railway minister regarding the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar promised in 2009-10 rail budget. Puri and Bhubaneswar stations were to be built into world class Railway stations but no work has been done in that regard whereas state government has already renovated the Bhubaneswar railway station.
The state government also said that a major part of Odisha is yet to get rail connectivity. In this regard the state government has already offered 25 to 50 % finance and free land in many projects like Gopalpur-Singapur Road, Bhadranchalam-Bimalgarh, Bargarh-Nuapada via Padampur, Talcher-Gopalpur lines and so on.
Slow work pace of RVNL in many projects has been highlighted in the letter while many projects promised in 2016-17 are yet to take off. The Odisha government also requested an east coast freight corridor and an east west frieght corridor in its letter.