Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wagon Factory Shift: House Panel to Meet Railway Minister

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), March 23, 2016
BHUBANESWAR: The two-day deadlock in the Assembly over shifting of the wagon repair factory from Narla in Kalahandi district ended on Tuesday with members resolving to lodge a protest with the Railway Ministry and demand reconsideration of the decision.
The decision was announced by Speaker Niranjan Pujari after a special debate over the issue.
Members cutting across party lines agreed that the House Committee on Railways will meet Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and submit a memorandum requesting him not to shift the factory to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Noisy scenes were witnessed in the House during the last two days over the issue with Opposition members demanding a discussion on it.
No business could be transacted in the House since Monday till the special discussion was held this afternoon.
Senior BJP leader KV Singhdeo wondered how the ruling BJD could not know about the Railway Ministry’s decision of shifting the project to Andhra Pradesh when one of its MPs is a member of the Railway Standing Committee.Participating in the debate, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra criticised the State Government for not being able to know the decision to shift the proposed project. “I smell politics for ignoring the project which was to be set up in Kalahandi,” Mishra said and added that he would suggest a visit of the Assembly Committee to meet the Railway Minister in Delhi.
This apart, there was no allocation in the Pink Book for the project which was announced in 2013-14, he said. His party colleague Rabi Naik, however, alleged that the project was shifted due to non-cooperation of the State Government.
Replying to the debate, Minister of State for Commerce and Transport Ramesh Majhi said the Railway Ministry had announced a new new rail wagon repair factory in Visakhapatnam in 2015-16 budget without consulting Odisha Government.
The Minister said the State Government had provided all logistic support including land and water for the proposed project. However, the ministry did not make any allocation for the project,” he said.
The Speaker said steps would be taken to prepare a memorandum to be submitted to the Railway Minister keeping in view the opinion of House members.
Earlier in the morning, the House witnessed uproarious scenes over the issue which led the Speaker to adjourn proceedings thrice before allowing a special debate during the post-lunch session.

Sambad, March 23, 2016

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