Berhampur-Sambalpur Railway line work in Odisha put on track

The Preliminary Engineering-cum-Traffic Survey is likely to begin soon with the land acquisition process for the railway line.

BERHAMPUR:  The much-awaited Berhampur-Sambalpur railway line is likely to see the light of the day as the Railway Board has given green signal for its Preliminary Engineering-cum-Traffic Survey (PETS) recently.

Odisha Rail Infrastructure Development Limited (ORIDL), a joint venture of the State Government and the Ministry of Railways, has floated tender seeking potential bidders to conduct the survey and submit a detailed project report (DPR) within eight months.

Land acquisition process for the railway line would begin after the approval of the DPR by the Railway Board. If everything goes as per plan, the railway line would be laid within three years, sources said.The proposed 240-km railway line will connect four parliamentary constituencies of Berhampur, Aska, Kandhamal and Sambalpur.

It will pass through Jagannathpur, Kukudakhandi, Hinjili, Aska, Khandarabali, Basudevpur, Bhanjanagar, Mujagada, Bodangi, Chakapada, Jhagarpata, Phulbani, Lakarhapaju, Sunamundi, Mundapada, Boudh, Kadaligada and Rairakhol crossing five tunnels, 38 major bridges and 184 minor bridges.

The route will have 18 railway stations. Kandhamal, which is located between Ganjam and Sambalpur districts, does not have railway connectivity and this has hampered development.

The Centre had accorded permission to the East Coast Railway (ECoR) to conduct a baseline survey for laying the railway line in 2010-11. Though ECoR had submitted a 212-page survey report to the Ministry of Railways, the project is yet to take off.

The inordinate delay had triggered widespread public resentment across south and western Odisha. Lawyers from Ganjam, Kandhamal, Boudh and Sambalpur districts recently met at Bhanjanagar to press for construction of the railway line. They had submitted their memoranda to the Prime Minister and the Railway Minister on the issue.

RTI activist and advocate B Sankar Patra said people, especially those residing in rural areas, would get cheaper and viable mode of transport if the project is implemented. The railway line will help in speeding up development process in the backward regions of these districts.

Rail infrastructure

The proposed 240-km railway line will connect 4 parliamentary constituencies of Berhampur, Aska, Kandhamal and Sambalpur Kandhamal, which is located between Ganjam and Sambalpur districts, does not have railway connectivity Centre had accorded permission to ECoR to conduct a baseline survey for laying the railway line in 2010-11.

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