Odisha CM hails higher allocation for Odisha in rail budget

Pleased over allocation of Rs 4,682 crore to Odisha against the demand of Rs 5,000 crore in the Railway budget, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday thanked Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for accepting some of the state's major demands.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 25, 2016, 22:27 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Pleased over allocation of Rs 4,682 crore to Odisha against the demand of Rs 5,000 crore in the Railway budget, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday thanked Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for accepting some of the state's major demands.

Patnaik, however, requested the Railway Minister not to revise the allocation downward as it was done previous year.

Last year, the actual allotment was 35 per cent less than the original allotment for Odisha, Patnaik pointed out in his rail budget reaction.

There is an increase of 30 per cent in the allotment this year as compared to the last year, Patnaik said.

He appreciated sanctioning of two important new line projects - Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur and Junagarh-Ambaguda Via Nabarangpur, Bereahampur-Sambalpur and Baspani-Badbil lines.

Most importantly, the state's demand for extending the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor from Kharagpur to Vijayawada through the coast of Odisha has been accepted, Patnaik said.

He pointed out the exclusion of Bhubaneswar from the Rail-based Mass Rapid Transit System, saying, "considering the fact Bhubaneswar has now emerged as the Number One Smart City in the country, we hope Railways can still include MRTS for the greater Bhubaneswar area."

The state government has pledged to re-develop Bhubaneswar station with world class facilities and has been asking railways for similar re-development of Bhubaneswar New, Puri, Naraj and Cuttack stations, he said.

Though no specific station was named, the Railway Minister announced to re-develop 400 stations through PPP.

"We hope and expect important stations in the state are taken up under this scheme," Patnaik pointed out.