Odisha Nagarika Samaj raise voice in capital for a better rail infrastructure in Odisha
22 February 2013, New Delhi: Railway being the most important factor for development in any region in economic as well as social integration, is almost absent in the state of Odisha as comparison to its neighboring States. To demand for a better rail infrastructure in the state, Odisha Nagarika Samaj(ONAS) had organised a conference at New Delhi.
Although Odisha has only 4 percent infrastructure of Indian Railways(62,215 km) it caters material load of 12 percent of IR and contributes 10 percent of the total revenue profit. Lalit Mohan Patnaik, Working President,ONAS said “Revenue generated by East Coast Railways exceeds Rs 10,000 crore yet its railway budget is lowest; last year being only Rs 714 Cr.; Irony is that Rs 221 crore out of 714 crore has been withdrawn in the year 2012-13”. He further added, “Before Independence Odisha was having two major interstate Rail lines totaling 1200km. In last 65 years of independence, only 1200 km rail line has been added which had no major intersecting lines”.
Facts indicate that Odisha has a rail density (route kilometer of rail line in 1000 sq.km) of only 14.60 as compared to Bihar being 35.90, Jharkhand 25.30 and West Bengal 43.40. “We demand all eight ongoing projects, Seventy eight doubling of line, ten electrification project and Twenty eight line survey work of Odisha should be completed in this 12th Five Year Plan”,said Ramesh Mohanty, another member ONAS.
To achieve this ONAS demanded a budget allocation of Rs 4000 crore every year for the next five years to avoid gross regional disparity and dissatisfaction. Ziauddin Hindustani, Secretary, ONAS said, “We had organised a meeting on ‘Infrastructure in Odisha’ yesterday at Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha. It is regretful that in last 65 years Odisha could not claim the railway ministry snatched away by its neighbours. Outcome being Khurdha Rd- Bolangir and Lanjigada Rd-Junagada railway lines in Odisha were approved much earlier that Muzaffarpur-Sitamari and Sultangunj-Deogarh railway lines in Bihar, but only 10 and 15 percent of these project respectively are complete where as the projects of Bihar have been actualized.”