Friday, February 14, 2014

Proposal for Howrah-Chennai route via Kharagpur, Baripada, Talcher, Lanjigarh road, Junagarh, Malkangiri and Vijayawada needed

Fab 12, 2014
Dear Honorable Chief Minister Mr. Patnaik,
Realising the practical scenario of Indian railway and politics involved in railway budget, it is difficult to reason whether Junagarh-Malkangiri via Nabarangpur and Jeypore as well as Lanjigarh road-Talcher via Phulbani and Boudh will ever be built in next 30 years. 

Though your recent move to provide free land and share 50% of the cost of Khurdha-Balangir railway line by the state Government is lauded, it remains a fact that Odisha is not the only state that is sharing cost to develop railway infrastructure. Earlier Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana have already started sharing cost to bring railway infrastructure in their respective states.

Though survey has been carried out by Indian railways, the initial estimation for Talcher-Lanjigarh road and Junagarh-Malkangiri via Nabarangpur and Jeypore routes indicate that these routes may give 15% or less commercial return like was estimated earlier for Khurdha-Balangir line. This demoralises railway to push further unless a political will is made. 

To add to it, BJD and state Govt. continued in politics of blame game against central Govt., which may be good for public perception, but it is not solving the actual problem in hand. Supposing BJD's current political third front stand in the national politics, general national political mood, and BJD's probable coming back to power in Odisha, it is difficult to further rationalize of a new central Government in next May that would be sympathizing to Odisha's need in railway infrastructure, most likely the political equation of the state with the new central Govt. will further discourage railway development in the state, consequently, vision for bringing railway line to backward districts like Kandhamal, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri may remain as a dream for next few decades.   

Therefore, active involvement of the state Government, the way it did for Khordha-Balangir line and perhaps through Biju KBK Yojana and Biju Kandhamal Yojana, is needed for sanctioning of these two important projects. 

Lanjigarh road-Phulbani-Talcher line will bring backward and tribal dominated Kandhamal district to the railway map for the first time, it will also connect Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Balangir (Titlagarh and Kantabanji region), and Nabarangpur district directly with Bhubaneswar and Cuttack by joining Kordha-Balangir route at Boudh and Angul respectively, which will make accessible to large part of inaccessible KBK and Kandhamal region from the state capital directly and help in countering Maoist activities in the region. Beside that this line will facilitate alumina/coal transportation for NALCO from its refinery in Damajodi to its Smelter in Angul by reducing distance about 100 km, thus, it has commercial and industrial benefits. State Govt. should also push NALCO, VAL, UAIL and other industrial house to get involve in this project.

On the other side, Junagarh-Malkangiri route via Nabarangpur and Jeypore will for the first time bring rail connectivity to Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts. 

It is high time to propose an alternative Howrah-Chennai route via Kharagpur, Baripada, Talcher, Lanjigarh road, Junagarh, Nabarangpur, Jeypore, Malkangiri, Bhadrachalam road and Vijaywada, instead of railway's current proposal to have triple line between Vijayawada and Kharagpur via Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar. Beside meeting the current need for busy Howrah-Chennai route, the proposed route will bring development to all the major tribal dominated  districts such as Mayurbhanj, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri of the state. 

I urge and anticipate that you will kindly that necessary step in this matter by proposing to provide free land and sharing 50 % cost for the Lanjigarh road-Talcher as well as Junagarh-Nabarangpur-Jeypore-Malkangiri projects and establishing an alternative railway route via these backward tribal districts for existing Howrah-Chennai railway line.

Thanking you

With best regards

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As you proposed an alternative railway
line from Khargpur to Vijayawada via
and Bhadrachalam road, I want to know
the distance from Khargpur to Vijayawada via the above route and via
the present route of Bubaneswar and