Non-resident Odia (NRO) Prof Digamabara Patra, a resident of Kalahandi district, who is currently teaching Chemistry in the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, has sought establishment of a Railway University in Odisha-Chhattisgarh border. Besides, he has demanded adequate allocation for some of the oldest railway projects in Odisha which have either not started or are moving at a snail’s pace due to apathy by the Indian Railways.
Writing a letter to Union Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda, Patra said in 1962-63, late MP Pratap Keshari Deo had pointed out in the Parliament that Parkers had done a railway line survey from Kesinga to Nabarangpur to join Kothavalasa-Kirandul (KK) line, because Koraput-Kothavalasa and Koraput-Rayagada are special category railway routes having many tunnels and high-level bridges.
The speed is limited (often less than 50 kmph) and number of wagon can’t exceed 30 during mineral transportations in these two routes. The idea is Amabguda-Lanjigarh road railway line will make mineral transportation from Kirandul to Visakhapatnam faster and easier.
Realizing this, in 1991, Laniigarh road-Junagarh line was approved to connect with KK line at Ambaguda via Nabarangpur.
The 56 km Lanjigarh road-Junagarh line of this route took 25 years to get completed. However, surveyed Junagarh-Ambaguda portion of this route has not yet been approved which will bring railway connection to tribal dominated Nabarangur district. KK line is one of the most profit-making routes of the Indian Railways. Immediate action is needed for approval and completion of rest of Junagarh-Ambaguda line without any delay.
He lamented that no allotment of fund was made for the Wagon Maintenance Workshop at Kalahandi and Skill Development Center at Koraput in the profit making ECOR zone. He opined that a bottom-to-top approach needs to be adhered to by the Railways so as to give adequate exposure to the backward regions.