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Odisha CM demands extension of eastern freight corridor upto Visakhapatnam

 

Wednesday February 20, 2013

Odisha, Rail Budget, Infrastructure, Industrialisation  
 

Alleging that the union ministry has bypassed Odisha while implementing ambitious projects like the dedicated freight corridor aligned with mega industrial hubs, national road expressways and high speed train projects, Naveen demands that the eastern freight corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni should be extended to Vishakhapatnam during 2013-14 financial year so as to ensure seamless movement of freight between the ports and the vast northern and central hinterlands of the country.

 
HNF Correspondent  
   

Demanding justice and proper share to Odisha in the 2013-2014 Railway budget, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to the Prime Minister mentioning the needs of the State in view of investment flow, economic growth and industrialisation.

Referring to the flow of investment into the state of Odisha, especially in the metal, mining and power sectors, and the efforts made by the State government for systematic and inclusive economic growth by focusing upon the infrastructure development and creating dedicated industrial corridors, the Chief Minister has mentioned in his letter to the Prime Minister that the nature of industrial activities in the State requires a robust and well planned railway infrastructure for its sustainability.

 

Pointing at the apathetic attitude of the Rail Ministry in spite of huge revenue collection from Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said that 'the railway route length and all rail density in the state is much below the national average as also substantially lower than that in neighbouring States. In contrast, the gross earnings from various stations in the State of Odisha is estimated to be in excess of 14000 Crore during the year 2012-2013.' Chief Minister has requested the Prime Minister of India, in his letter, to ensure allocation of sizeable part of the revenues generated from Odisha within the State to strengthen and expand rail network.

Alleging that the union ministry has bypassed Odisha while implementing ambitious projects like the dedicated freight corridor aligned with mega industrial hubs, national road expressways and high speed train projects, Naveen demands that the eastern dedicated freight corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni should be extended to Vishakhapatnam so as to ensure seamless movement of freight between the ports and the vast northern and central hinterlands of the country.

In order to strengthen his argument for extension of eastern freight corridor, CM has mentioned that 'the volume of investments in Odisha in diverse sectors at different stages is in excess of Rs.8,85,000 Cr. and Odisha government has taken steps to set up ports on the State’s coastline to facilitate both international and coastal maritime trade.' Stating that the growth in rail borne traffic is expected to be in excess of 330 MMTPA in the next five years,' CM has brought to the notice of the PM the urgent need of Odisha for time bound infrastructure up-gradation arrangement plan by the Union Rail Ministry between that of the ports for maximising economic gains.

On poor or no rail network in the backward regions of Odisha, the Chief Minister says that lack of infrastructure has been one of the major reasons of impeding socio-economic growth of this region. Mentioning that expansion of rail network in these areas would help minimising the impact of left wing extremism, Naveen adds in his letter to the Prime Minister that ‘delivering rail services in the naxal affected regions is one of the best means to channelise development therein and provide counter active force.’

Citing that the State needs to look for new virgin areas for development and industrialisation as many of the present industrial clusters have attained a stage of saturation in terms of availability of land, water and, also, due to environmental concerns, Naveen presses on speedy execution of projects such as, Bhadrachalam Road – Talcher Rail Link via Malkangiri, Jeypore, Lanjigarh; Sambalpur – Berhampur new Rail Link via Phulbani; Rayagada – Gopalpur Rail Link via Bhismagiri. Requesting the PM to advise the Ministry of Railways to execute these projects on priority basis, Naveen demanded that these projects should be treated as national projects.

Referring to the constant demand for improvement in passenger amenities at major railway stations as well as trains, Chief Minister has sought Prime Minister’s intervention for prompt execution of world class stations at Bhubaneswar and the pilgrimage city of Puri. While bringing to notice the need of effective urban transport system in the envisioned Bhubaneswar-Cuttack mega urban complex, the Chief Minister has requested for provision of multi-functional complexes and upgraded passenger amenities at the stations in district headquarters and important tourist destinations.

The State government has submitted a detail proposal mentioning the requirements of Odisha to the Prime Minister for consideration and necessary direction to the Railway Ministry of India.

 
 

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