The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), Feb 25, 2016
BHUBANESWAR: Centre today made the highest ever allocation of Rs 4682 crore for Odisha in the railway budget for 2016-17 and accepted some of the major demands of the State by sanctioning Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur railway line projects.
The allocation for Odisha in 2016-17 is 30 percent more than Rs 3712 crore alloted for the state in 2015-16. Appreciating the enhancement of allocation for Odisha, chief minister Naveen Patnaik requested railway minister Suresh Prabhu not to revise this downwards like last year. Actual allotment was 35 percent less than the budget allotment for Odisha in 2015-16, he said.
The Junagarh-Ambaguda railway line via Nabarangpur, Berhampur-Sambalpur and Banspani-Barbil railway line projects with partnership of the state government were also sanctioned in the budget. Besides, the railway minister also conceded one of the major demands of the state government by extending the eastern dedicated freight corridor from Kharagpur to Vijayawada through the coast of Odisha.
Other new railway line projects sanctioned for Odisha include the Barsuan-Banspani, Bandamunda-Rourkela and Narayangarh-Bhadrak third line.
The Khurda Road-Bolangir railway line project has received the highest allocation of Rs 240 crore compared to Rs 195 crore last year while the Haridaspur-Paradip railway line project has got allocation of `200 crore against Rs 36.8 crore in 2015-16.
Allocations for other projects include Daitari-Banspani (Haridaspur-Jakhapura third line)-Rs 12.87 crore, Talcher-Bimlagarh-Rs 150 crore, Bhadrak-Nirgundi (3rd line)- Rs 135 crore, Jarapada-Budhapank (3rd &4th line)-Rs 200 crore, Budhapank-Salegaon-Rs 170 crore and Angul-Duburi-Sukinda Road-Rs 150 crore and Jaleswar-Digha-Rs 2 crore.
Besides, provisions for different doubling projects have also increased substantially. While Rs 220 crore has been alloted for doubling of 174.11 kilometer Sambalpur-Talcher railway line, Rs 419 crore has been provided for 182.11 kilometer Sambalpur-Titlagarh railway line doubling project. Provision for other doubling projects include Delang-Puri-Rs 8 crore, Banspani-Daitari-Tomka-Jakhapura-Rs 241 crore, Rajathagarh-Baranga-Rs 1 crore, Viazianagaram-Sambalpur-225 crore and Koraput-Singapur Road-Rs 39 crore. However, a token allotment of Rs 1 lakh has been made for 12 kilometer Cuttack-Barang doubling project.
An allocation of Rs 12.5 crore has been made for Brundamal-Jharsuguda fly over for joining downline while Rs 10 crore has been allocated for Khurda Road-Vizianagaram bypass.
The East-West rail corridor will connect Odisha through Bondamunda-Rourkela-Jharsuguda and Brajraj Nagar stations while the East Coast Rail Corridor will connect Odisha through Jaleswar-Balasore-Bhadrak-Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khurda Road-Berhampur stations.
Pardip will get special connectivity under all India scheme to connect important ports of the country. Besides, Puri will also developed as a national centre for religious rail tourism and connected with other pilgrim centres of the country.