Monday, April 4, 2016

Shifting of Wagon Maintenance Workshop is Injustice

Honorable President of India, Sri Mukherjee
Honorable Prime Minister of India, Sri Modi, 

Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha, Sri Patnaik
Honorable Railway Minister

Dear Honorable President Sri Mukherjee and Honorable Prime Minister Sri Modi,

People of Kalahandi had been demanding for a railway Wagon factory to bring public sector manufacturing unit to catalyze their development activities in this backward pocket. Keeping such public demand in mind, ministry of railway was kind enough to announce a Wagon Factory in Kalahandi/Bhubaneswar in 2010-11 railway budget.

However, due to state politics this Wagon factory was shifted to Ganjam district of Odisha, which is under construction. However, a subsequent strong public and intellectual protest in Kalahandi region resulted various political and social outrages in the nation. At one point of time former railway minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee even had to intervene in the parliament and had promised in the parliament for another railway wagon factory in Odisha, especially for Kalahandi, if land is supplied by the state Govt. In one of the parliament sessions in 2012, honorable president Sri Mukherjee, then finance minister also took the issue to railway minister to establish a Wagon factory in Kalahandi.

With honorable president Sri Mukherjee’s commitment to people of Kalahandi, railway minister in 2013-14 rail budget thankfully announced a Wagon Maintenance Workshop in Kalahandi. However, recently railway ministry has clarified about shifting of Wagon maintenance workshop from Kalahandi to Visakhapatnam citing feasibility study.

Sir, as head of the nation and as prime minister of this country, both of you may be well aware that any Govt. establishment should not be announced in the parliament in a given location without any feasibility study. Then, how could ministry of railway announce Wagon Maintenance Workshop in Kalahandi in 2013-14 railway budget, especially in the parliament, without conducting proper feasibility study? Since such an announcement was especially made after keeping strong public reaction in mind, railway should have taken utmost care about the feasibility and other technical study before announcing any new project in Kalahandi, so that incident like shifting of earlier Wagon Factory in 2010-11 railway budget is not repeated. Now Kalahandi should not be penalized for the mistake made by railway ministry.

Secondly, honorable sirs, you are well aware that such a proposal was made keeping strong public and regional sentiment of one of the backward pocket in India, thus, shifting of such establishment to a neighboring state without even considering alternative location in the same district is completely immoral and unethical.

Interest of backward region like Kalahandi has greater aspiration to be as par with other parts of the region. Kalahandi has been recently performing exceptionally well in agriculture. Nevertheless, backward tag associated with Kalahandi is obstructing its developmental aspiration due to infamous perception; currently the region is fighting a perception battle. Therefore, along with agriculture, industrial and manufacturing sector development in the region is crucial for overall growth of this part of the nation.

I request you to kindly do not do injustice by repeatedly shifting proposed industrial development in the region due to political reasons. The injustice must be corrected, especially, when such injustice is being made by public and Government sector. Otherwise, the nation would fail to give equal right to each and every region and its people.    

Thank you
With best regards

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