BALANGIR: Members of Patnagarh Citizen Committee staged a ‘rail roko’ agitation at Balangir railway station on Saturday to protest against the meagre allocation of funds by the Centre for the projects in western Odisha and for the laying of railway tracks between Balangir and Nuapada via Chudapali and Patnagarh. The agitators were led by the forum’s convener Bajranglal Agrawal and its leader Bhaktabandhu Naik. Demanding a new train line between Balangir and Nuapadavia Patnagarh, Khaprakhol and Lakhana in accordance with the 2014 survey conducted by Railway Board, the activists detained Sambalpur- Rayagada Tapaswini express and Bilaspur -Raipur passenger trains.
The agitation was supported by the volunteers of Balangir Citizen Committee, tribal leader Niranjan Bishi and other activists there. Thousands of residents of Patnagarh town reached Balangir railway station to participate in the agitation. The Railway Official of Sambalpur Division, Kedarnath Sahu, reached the spot to pacify the protestors. He, later, accepted a memorandum drafted by the agitators.
“This area has remained neglected by the government. The proposed Balangir-Nuapada via Khaprakhol rail line will lead to the development of the region and uplift the economic conditions of locals,” said Bajranglal Agrawal.
Coal India Limited (CIL) is undertaking three critical railway infrastructure projects that will enable the miner to efficiently evacuate 282-million tons a year of production. Doubling of track capacity between Jharsuguda and Vizianagaram via the coal belts of Sambalpur and Titlagarh will improve the scope of evacuation and the pace of supplies to the South.
BHUBANESWAR: Coal supplies will improve significantly beginning 2018, riding on the completion of key rail projects in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.
In Odisha, the Coal India Ltd financed 53.5-km Jharsuguda-Barapali rail link is expected to be ready by December; paving the way for moving nearly 80 million tonnes of additional fuel from the vast Ib Valley reserves in Sundergarh district.
This coupled with the ongoing doubling of track capacity between Jharsuguda and Vizianagaram via the coal belts of Sambalpur and Titlagarh will improve significantly both the scope of evacuation and the pace of supplies to the South. Currently, the region is connected by a single-line.
The Railways is on course to resuming work on the 30-km Talcher-Angul loopline to pace up supplies from the Talcher coalfields. The project has been stalled the last five years due to land acquisition issues for a 3- km stretch.
Sources told that the Railways has finally made some headway in land acquisition. The project is now expected to be completed next year.
The loopline will help circular movement of rakes, thereby increasing the pace of evacuation from Talcher by 50-60 per cent. State-owned CIL now despatches 30-35 rakes a day from Talcher. The loopline is expected to increase this to 50 rakes a day.
Chhattisgarh East Railway Limited — a special purpose vehicle of South Eastern Coalfields Limited, IRCON and the State government — is reportedly making fast progress in connecting the prolific Mand Raigarh coalfield to the Kolkata-Mumbai line.
According to CIL sources, construction is apace and should link up the opencast mines at Chhal and Baroud by next year, adding approximately 20 million tonnes to the miner’s annual throughput. This line is to be extended to the prolific Gare Palma coalfields.
The Coal Ministry has asked the Railways to double the 25-km single-line connectivity between Shakti Nagar Railway Station on Dhanbad Division in Jharkhand and Karela in Madhya Pradesh. Karela is located on the Katni-Chopan line connecting eastern India with the North. This will help improve supplies by approximately 30 million tonnes annually from Northern Coalfields, a subsidiary of CIL.
The implementation of the Tori-Shibpur rail link in Jharkhand is progressing at a slow pace and is expected to reach Bhalumath (midway between Tori and Shibpur) by the end of this year. As a contingency plan, CIL has a laid a 20-km road connecting Bhalumath with the Magadh coalfields.
BHUBANESWAR: Now, Sambalpur people can get direct train to Jammu via Allahabad as the railway has decided to extend the train service of Jammu Tawi-Rourkela Express up to Sambalpur from this month. Similarly, Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani express will also go via Sambalpur once a week.
The Railway Board has already instructed to the East Coast Railway (ECoR) to extend the service for the benefit of the people of Sambalpur. “ECoR has set a tentative date of August 12 to run the train from Sambalpur station. If not on this date, we will start the service on any date in this month,” said a senior railway officer.
The daily train will now originate from Sambalpur and reach Jammu Tawi via Rourkela, Ranchi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Amritsar and Delhi. It leaves Rourkela at 11.35 am and reaches Jammu Tawi on the third day of its journey. It takes a total of 50 hours 35 minutes to reach its destination.
It was a long-standing demand of Sambalpur residents to run a direct train to Allahabad. Several people from western Odisha very often visit Allahabad to conduct religious rituals including immersion of ashes of a kin after his/her death in the holy river Ganga.
Mahendra Kumar Mishra, chairman of citizen welfare committee, Sambalpur, said they had been demanding for running a direct train to Allahabad during last 20 years. “We had even locked the divisional railway manager’s office at Sambalpur four years ago on this issue. Finally, the railways decided to run a train from Sambalpur to Jammu via Allahabad. We are happy with this decision,” he added.
Similarly, the railway has also decided to run the Rajdhani express via Sambalpur very soon. Minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain while answering a question of Kandhamal BJD MP Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh in the Parliament on August 2 said the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express will run via Sambalpur City. But the exact date is not declared yet.
Now two Rajdhani Express trains (22823 and 22811) originate from Bhubaneswar. The first train leaves Bhubaneswar at 9.30 am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, while the second one leaves the station at 11.40 am on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
According to the plan, the second train (22811) may run via Sambalpur on every Saturday after commencement of the express in the route. This Delhi-bound train instead of taking Kharagpur route, will go through Angul, Sambalpur City, Rourkela Chakradharpur and Mughalsarai.
Mishra said the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani express will also pass Sambalpur which is very good news for them. “But it should change the day from Saturday to any other day because two other trains are already leaving the station for Delhi on Saturday,” he added.
Coal availability to improve with key rail projects on ECR’s Dhanbad Division, ECOR’s Sambalpur Division, ER’s Howrah Division and SER’s Chakradharpur Division
KOLKATA: Demand for coal may be growing slower than anticipated, but supplies will improve further this fiscal as two key rail connectivity projects — which were pending for decades — in Odisha and Jharkhand are set to be operational, either partially or fully.
Absence of the key evacuation infrastructure was a major reason behind the low growth in coal availability and the resulting coal crisis during 2009 and 2014, when the capacity of India’s coal-based thermal electricity generation nearly doubled.
According to available information, excepting a 0.5 km stretch — where work is halted due to land hassles — the 53.5-km Jharsuguda-Barapali rail link in Odisha is ready. The project is financed by Coal India (CIL).
Sources in CIL are hopeful that the line will be operational this fiscal, as the Odisha government has promised to clear the squatters and pave way for evacuation of fuel from the vast Ib Valley reserves in Sundergarh district.
Originally scheduled for completion in 2009, the project has undergone nearly four-fold increase in cost to approximately ₹2,200 crore. The Narendra Modi government promised to complete it by June 2016.
The rail link will improve coal availability by 20 million tonnes (mt) per annum in the near run. Half of the projected increase will come from Vasundhara which is now producing at nearly half the capacity due to lack of evacuation infrastructure.
In the long run, the project may help increase coal production by nearly 80 mtpa by helping monetise idle reserves like Siarmal (50 mtpa), Kuldah (15 mtpa), Garjandhal (10 mtpa), Vasundhara West (8 mtpa) and others.
The implementation of Tori-Shibpur rail link (which is the first phase of the proposed 91 km Tori-Shibpur-Hazaribagh link) is moving at a slower pace.
The line will help coal movement from two large assets at Magadh and Amrapali which can produce 30-50 million tonnes of fuel a year. Both the assets are now underutilised.
The East Central railway has already connected Ranchi with Tori. Going by the pace of work, the line is expected to reach Bhalubasa — midway between Tori and Shibpur — by the end of this year.
BHUBANESWAR: An amount of Rs 49.16 Crore has been allocated by the Center for development of the Freight Train Maintenance Facility (RoH Depot) at Maneswar under Sambalpur Division of East Coast Railway. This goods train maintenance workshop will be established at an estimated cost of Rs 49.16 crore. Only Rs 1 lakh as token amount has been sanctioned for the project.
The railways had faced widespread criticism and protests from people of the state for shifting the proposed wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi district to Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh. Even chief minister Naveen Patnaik had taken up the issue with railway minister Suresh Prabhu to give an alternative project to the state.
However the railways has not sanctioned any amount for the Sitalapalli wagon factory project in Ganjam district. Though the project doesn’t get any amount this year, it is alive, said East Coast Railway (ECoR) general manager Umesh Sharma here.
This time Odisha got five new rail lines in the budget. These are extension of Naupada-Gunupur (79.15 km) new line up to Therubali, a link line between Dumitra station and Bisra station (2.3 km) under south eastern railway (SER), Gopalpur-Singapur Road (155.5 km), Talcher-Gopalpur (220 km) and Badampahar-Bangiriposi(45 km). First two lines will be constructed with railway funding while the last three lines will be constructed in joint venture between the state government and the railways.
Bhubaneswar: The long-pending Jharsuguda (Chakradharpur Division) to Barpali (Sambalpur Division) railway line in Odisha, one of the three critical links for faster transportation of coal, will become operational next month, a top official today said.
These links are significant as the country is planning to double coal production to 1 billion tonne by 2020.
“Jharsuguda-Barpali railway line, which was languishing for years, will become operational from July 1, this year,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said at India Coal Summit here.
Talking about the progress of the other rail lines – Tori-Shivpur link in Jharkhand and East-West corridor in Chhattisgarh – he said they would be completed by December next year. “I am hopeful that by December 2017 – give or take 2-3 months – (they) will be ready.”
All the three critical rail lines over a period of time will transport more than 200 million tonnes of coal, he said.
“We have this ambitious plan of producing one billion tonnes but unless we are able to evacuate coal from the mines, mining of coal will not matter. I must place on record that we are getting outstanding assistance from the Ministry of Railways. We ask for rakes…We get them,” he said.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production, is eying one billion tonnes of coal output by 2020.
The government has set a production target of 598 million tonnes for CIL for the ongoing fiscal. The PSU produced 536 MT in 2015-16.
Bhubaneswar: In a bid to improve railway connectivity between Titilagarh in Odisha and Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the Vizianagaram-Titlagarh third line project. It will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2,335.68 crore.
The third line, which comes under the east coast railway (ECoR), is an alternative route to over-burdened existing line. The length of the railway line will be 264.6 km. The project will be completed within five years, sources said.
Railway sources said this link also opens an alternative route to oversaturated Kharagpur-Jharsuguda section, Howrah-Mumbai Grand Trunk route and Howrah-Chennai section main line. This move of the Centre will benefit Rayagada and Kalahandi districts of Odisha and Vizianagaram and Babbili districts of Andhra Pradesh, it added.
Vizianagaram and Titlagarh is a double-lined non-electrified section of Jharsuguda-Vizianagaram line. The section is oversaturated with present capacity utilization of 106 per cent and a huge detention of both passenger and goods trains. In an average, the section handles 47 pairs of trains per day, including 27 pairs of passenger trains and 20 pairs of goods trains.
After growth of industries between Jharsuguda-Rengali and Talcher-Angul-Dhenkanal sections, third line between Vizianagaram and Titlagarh has become a necessary step to overcome the goods traffic on the coming days.
ECoR sources said electrification work of the line will be completed by March 2017, while electrification work of Titlagarh-Raipur railway line and Jharsuguda-Titlagarh would be completed by September, 2017 and March, 2018 respectively.
“Sanction of this line will give a thrust to improvement in mobility and become extremely helpful in running better train services between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. This explained the importance of these districts as crucial for movement of goods and passenger services,” said ECoR’s chief public relations officer JP Mishra.
MCL improves rail and infrastructure to achieve 250 MT target by 2020
Sambalpur: Mahanadi Coalfileds Limited (MCL) today said the Jharsuguda-Barpali-Sardege rail link will be completed by March 2017.
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) set the deadline to complete the crucial Jharsuguda, Barpali and Sardege railway line by March 2017 to achieve its target of producing 250 million tonnes (MT) by 2020. On coal production, the company said it needs to adopt a state-of-art technology to achieve the annual output target of 250 millon tonnes (MT) by 2020.
While the rail line between Jharsuguda and Barpali is expected to be completed by June 2016, the stretch between Barpali and Sardege will see light of the day by March 2017, MCL Chairman-cum-Managing Director A K Jha told reporters here while highlighting the company’s achievement during the 2015-16 fiscal.
Stating that the MCL has partnered with IRCON International Ltd & IDCO (Odosha PSU) to jointly form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) namely Mahanadi Coal Railway Limited, Jha said the company in the second phase will take up the Jharsuguda-Barpali-Sardege rail link, which will enable Basundhara Coalfield to produce 85 MT as compared to its current production of 10 MT.
Both the rail projects are very critical for MCL for achieving its higher growth potential, Jha said adding that the SPV will be set up with an objective of developing railway infrastructure in Odisha.
The company has been incorporated on August 31, 2015 with an equity ratio of 64:26:10 among the JV partners i.E. MCL, IRCON & IDCO.
Jha said one of the foremost activities before the company is to develop the Angul-Balram rail link covering around 14 km length in the initial phase with a capacity to transport 92 million tonnes of Coal.
In due course, this rail link will complete the loop Angul-Balaram-Talcher Angul to facilitate unidirectional movement of wagons. The outcome will help increasing coal production thorugh increased evacuation in Talcher Coalfields.
This SPV will only cater to the current evacuation constraints, which impede the growth of MCL and accordingly will implement the evacuation plans.
The MCL, which has set a record by producing 137.90 MT of coal in 2015-16 fiscal, is planning to generate 250 MT by 2019-20. Improved coal despatch in future through this SPV will help closing the gap between demand and supply of coal, which the country has been grappling with for a long time.
Jha said the Bharatpur OCP (open cast project) with the
production capacity of 20 MT with Silo loading and departmental OB (overburden) removal was approved on February 2012, 2007.
In this OCP, a SILO of 2,400 tonnes is in operation since 1989 with automatic sampler and electronic weighing system for NALCO.
The rapid loading system is expected to be completed in 2015-16.
“Another significant feature of this SILO is its automatic sampling and pre-weighing system. This will be model mine and same system will be replicated in all the mines of MCL,” Jha said.
Keeping in mind its target of producing 250 MT of coal by 2019-20, Jha said the Bharatpur Mine is being developed as a model mega opencast mine with a capacity of 20 MT per annum.
This will have state-of-the-art technology for OB removal and surface Miner for producing 100 mm size coal, which will be dispatched through rapid loading system via SILO of 2X4000te, he said.
A full rake of about 3,800 tonnes will be loaded in about 40 minutes. It will also have automatic sampler and digital weighing system. The model will be replicated in all mega mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, he said.
Asked about the company’s plan for setting up a mega thermal power plant, Jha said MCL has taken up the project for 2×800 mw power plant in Subndergarh district. “Land acquistion work is in progress for the project. Once we get coal linkage and water become available, significant progess can be made in the project,” he said.
The MCL CMD said the company has made a significant progress in setting up its proposed state-of-art Medical College and Hospital in Talcher Coalfields of Odisha.
“The construction work is scheduled to be completed in two and half years time from the current fiscal. The academic session will commence from 2019-20,” he said adding that the MCL earmarks two per cent of its profit towards CSR projects and has been targeting an expenditure of Rs 100 crore per annum.
During last 5 years, it has spent Rs 373 crore out of the total sanctioned project of worth Rs 1,200 crore.
He said the MCL had envisaged an ambitious CSR project of setting up a 100-seated medical college with 500-bed modern hospital in Talcher at a cost of Rs 494 crore. The state-of- the-art medical college of MCL on 20 acres of land in Talcher will have separate academic and residential blocks with 300-bedded Nehru Shatabadi Central Hospital of MCL in Talcher will be upgraded to 500 bed linking to upcoming Medical College.
The construction work for Rs 491,62 crore 100-seat Medical College at Talcher has already commenced and is in full swing.
Bhubaneswar: ARSS Infrastructure Projects on Monday said its has won Rs.109-crore contract in Odisha by East Coast Railway.
“A work order amounting to Rs. 109.27 crore namely ’Jarapada-Budhapank with Flyover At Talcher Road-3rd And 4th Line-Execution Of Earthwork, Minor Bridges And Other Allied Works – Km.525.133 To Km. 483.047 I.E. 35.5 Km-3rd Line And 42.00 Km-4th Line Approx.- Excluding Flyover Portion At Talcher Road’ has been awarded in favour one of the Company’s Joint Venture (JV) ARSS-SIPS,” ARSS Infrastructure Projects Ltd said in a BSE filing.
The contract has been awarded by East Coast Railway, Bhubaneswar today, it said.
Shares of the company closed at Rs. 32.30 on BSE, down 4.72 per cent from the previous close.
ARSS Infrastructure Projects Limited an ISO 9000:2001 company was incorporated on 17th May,2000. Today ARSS has established itself as a leading infrastructure company in Eastern India and now it has already started expanding its field globally.
Assembly Committee to meet Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu over Narla Wagon Repair unit to Andhra Pradesh
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly on Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution opposing shifting of the proposed wagon repair workshop from Kalahandi to Andhra Pradesh.
After a special discussion on the Railway Board’s decision to move the project out of Odisha, the assembly decided that a house committee will meet railways minister Suresh Prabhu and submit a memorandum seeking to reconsider the decision, commerce and transport minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi said.
Majhi said the state government will provide all required infrastructure for the project to retain it here.
Speaker Niranjan Pujari allowed special discussion on the issue post launch as members across party-lines raised the demand stalling the assembly proceedings for the second consecutive day.
Soon after the house convened at 10.30 am, Congress members demanded a special discussion and jumped into the well of the house. While BJD members supported the move and raised anti-Centre slogans standing from their seats, the BJP members also demanded discussion to clarify the party position. The speaker was forced to adjourn the proceedings till 12.05 pm. When the house reconvened, the members created ruckus again. The speaker then adjourned the house till 3 pm and decided for a motion during an all-party meeting.
Ever since an RTI reply obtained by Balangir native Hemanta Panda from the East Coast Railway became public that the proposed workshop in Kalahandi has been shifted to Visakhapatnam by Railway Board for administrative reasons on Sunday, various political parties are strongly opposing the decision.
The political parties passed the blame to each other behind the Railways’ move. While BJD described the Railways’ decision as yet another instance of Central neglect to Odisha, Congress found faults with both the NDA government at the Centre and the BJD government here. The BJP said the BJD government failed to provide land in time and facilitate water required for the project.
New Delhi: The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the much-awaited doubling of the Kothavalasa-Kirandul (KK) railway line that falls under the Waltair division of East Coast Railway (ECoR).
Kothavalasa–Kirandul line belongs to Waltair Railway Division of East Coast Railway Zone.
It passes through three states Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
While the entire Kirandul-Kottavalasa line is 445.5 km, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has granted approval for doubling 299.498 km of the stretch from Kothavalasa in Vizianagaram district to Jagdalpur in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh.
The cost of the project is Rs 4816.66 crore and it is likely to be completed within the next seven years.
However, the approved project has been divided into two components.
While one component consists of doubling of the 189.278 km Kothavalasa-Koraput railway line at a cost of Rs 2977.64 crore, the other component consists of the 110.22 km Koraput-Jagadalpur railway line that would be doubled at a cost of Rs 1839.02 crore.
The decision to double the railway line was taken in a bid to ease the increasing freight traffic as well as increase the revenue of the Railways.
Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts in Andhra Pradesh, Koraput district of Odisha and Bastar district of Chhattisgarh will be benefited by this project.
Meanwhile, the committee has also given approval for the 164.56 km Koraput-Singapur Road railway line towards Rayagada in Odisha at a cost of Rs 2361.74 crore.
In 1960, Indian Railway took up three projects: the Kothavalasa – Araku – Koraput – Jeypore – Jagdalpur – Dantewara – Kirandaul line, the Jharsuguda – Sambalpur – Bargarh – Balangir – Titlagarh Project and the Biramitrapur – Rourkela – Bimlagarh – Kiriburu project.
All the three projects taken together were popularly known as the DBK Project or the Dandakaranya – Bolangir – Kiriburu project.
The Kothavalasa–Kirandaul line was opened in 1966–67 under South Eastern Railway Zone with financial aid of Japan for transporting Iron ore.
This line passes hill sections of Eastern ghats through Araku Valley.
This is the highest broad gauge in the world which touches as high as 996.32 metres above sea level (MSL).
The line has a total of 58 tunnels and 84 major bridges and each tunnel is as long as 520 metres.
Electrification of the line was completed in four phases. Kirandul–Jagdalpur section was completed in 1980.
Jagdalpur–Koraput section was completed in 1981. Koraput–Araku–Waltair section was completed in 1982.
The Kothavalasa–Kirandul route was completely electrified by 1982.
This line is mainly used for freight purposes which is a huge profit benefitting Waltair Division.
Nearly ₹3000 crore(US$450 million) of profit comes through this line. Iron ore from Baladila were transported to Waltair through this line.
Bhubaneswar: Asking East Coast Railways to expedite submission of forest diversion proposal for construction of railway track from Balangir side by December end, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today expressed satisfaction over the progress of the Khurda-Balangir Railway project which is falling under the Khurda Road and Sambalpur Divisions of East Coast Railway zone.
Patnaik also asked Railway officials to take up 90 km project work as the state government has already handed over the required land to the Railways.
He also directed the Railway officials to immediately take up the work from Balangir side.
The state government has identified land for construction of project work up to 19 km from Balangir side and paid Rs 8 crore to East Coast Railway (ECoR).
The chief minister asked the Revenue department and Commerce and Transport department to work in coordination to complete the process of land acquisition.
Of the total 289 km Khurda-Balangir railway project, construction work in 41.5 km has been completed up to Rajsunakhala from Khurda. So far two up and down passenger trains are plying from Khurda to Rajsunakhala.
While work from Rajsunakhala to Bolagarh and Nayagarh is underway, construction work up to Bolagarh and Nayagarh will start by June next year and by 2017 respectively, Railway officials said.
This apart, work is underway at different stages from Daspalla to Balangir while proposals on land acquisition, forest diversion and other works have been given to the state government, the Railway officials said.
The 19-km railway work from Bolangir would begin from December, they said.
Meanwhile, Odisha government has signed a MoU with the Railways on July 20 this year for undertaking certain projects on sharing basis.
As per the agreement, the state government would bear the total cost towards land acquisition and 50 percent of the total project cost which is estimated at Rs 2000 crore, a release issued by the chief minister’s office said.
Bhubaneswar: The government today said Jharsuguda (Chakradharpur Division of SER) to Barpali (Sambalpur Division of ECOR) railway link project in Odisha to facilitate faster movement of coal is ahead of schedule and will be ready by July next year.
“The three railway lines which I had been reviewing are moving very fast. One such will be ready ahead of schedule… Jharsuguda-Barpali railway line in Odisha will be ready by July 2016,” Swarup said while speaking at the India Coal Summit.
The other two railway lines will be ready by December 2017, he added.
The lines include Tori-Shivpur in North Karanpura, Jharkhand.
The Rs 470-crore Jharsuguda-Barpali railway link project was announced by Coal India (CIL) in January 2006 to link its Ib Valley coal fields in Odisha.
The Secretary further said that as part of the government’s plan to ramp up CIL’s production to one billion tonne by 2020, more than 60 railway lines have been visualised.
“These (railway lines) would not be executed by the railways. We have set up joint ventures in three principal states and they are going to execute these projects,” Swarup said.
He further said that with the coal production picking up, the focus of the government is shifting towards quality of fossil fuel.
“I would like to assure all of you that with the beginning of the next year, every ounce of coal shall be crushed and dispatched. We are working towards it,” Swarup said.
Seven mines out of the total lot auctioned and allotted this year have started operations.
The government had earlier said it would expedite the construction of three critical rail projects to facilitate faster transportation of coal to power plants, which will help bring in nearly 100 million tonnes of incremental traffic to the railways.
Balangir (BLGR): Construction works on a 19-km stretch of the 289-km-long Khurda-Balangir railway line to link coastal Odisha with the western region of the state, would begin from Balangir side of Sambalpur Division on East Coast Railway in December. The railway line is a long awaited one, as the survey for it was done before Independence in 1945, but work on the project started only in 2007.
East Coast Railway (ECoR) General Manager Rajiv Vishnoi today said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who chaired the first apex committee meeting on the railway project, has asked the Railways to complete the project within six years, that is by December 15, 2021.
The 19-km section spans Balangir to Bhuinsapalli. Indian Railways had on July 20 signed an agreement with the Odisha government for completion of the Khurda-Balangir rail route.
As per the agreement, Odisha government has committed to finance 50 per cent of the expenditure to be incurred for the construction of 176 km-long rail route from Balangir to Daspalla in Nayagarh district.
The project cost of the route was estimated to be Rs 2,000 crore of which the state would provide Rs 1,000 crore, besides free-of-cost land worth Rs 350 crore.
The state government has appointed land acquisition officers in Boudh, Balangir and Nayagarh districts, Odisha’s Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi said.
The minister said the total 289 km-long route has been divided into three phases – Khurda-Begunia (36 km), Begunia -Daspalla (76 km) and Daspalla-Balangir (176 km). While Khurda-Begunia line work was complete, the line work from Begunia to Rajsunakhala is also over and work on the remaining was going on there.
The minister said as per the ECoR, the rail track network construction work from Begunia to Nayagarh would be completed by 2017.
Bhubaneswar (BBS): A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today between the Ministry of Railways and the Government of Odisha on implementation of Dasapalla-Bolangir segment of Khurda Road – Bolangir New Broad Gauge Railway Line on cost sharing basis. The agreement was signed in the presence of Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of State for Railways Sh. Manoj Sinha, Speaker, Odisha Legislative Assembly, Shri Niranjan Pujari, Minister of Commerce & Transport, Govt. of Odisha, Shri Ramesh Chandra Manjhi, Members of Parliament from Odisha namely Shri A.U. Singh Deo, Shri Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, Dr.Prasanna Kumar Patasani, Ms. Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh, Sh. Baishnab Parida were among those present on the occasion. Signatories to the MoU were Shri Ved Parkash Dudeja, Executive Director (Works) Ministry of Railways and Shri Sanjay Rastogi, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Commerce & Transport Deptt., Govt. of Odisha.
Khurda Road-Bolangir (289 km) new line project has been taken up by Railways at an anticipated cost of Rs.3050 cr. To complete this important infrastructure project, Government of Odisha has consented to partner with Railways by providing land free of cost and sharing 50% of the construction cost for Dasapalla to Bolangir(177 kms) part of this project. The present MoU has been signed for this cost sharing arrangement.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu said that signing of this MoU will go a long way in developing infrastructure in Odisha, as Khurda-Bolangir new line running from East to West across the state will accelerate the development in the districts falling on this line. The State of Odisha, being a mineral rich state, has a special place in today’s economic scenario of our country and Railway is aware of its responsibility to cater to the needs of transportation of people and goods. He also assured that Railways will complete the projects expeditiously. He called upon Railway Board officials to implement all Railway projects using the management practice of PERT (project evaluation and review technique) so that proper timelines and proper task assignments can be ensured in implementing the projects.
Sh. Suresh Prabhu pointed out that Odisha got special attention since formation of the new government at Centre. We enhanced the outlay for development of railway network in Odisha in 2014-15 (Rs 1073 cr.) by about 40% as compared to 2013-14(Rs 754 cr.). This year, it has been further enhanced to 3 times (Rs 3310 cr ) as compared to last year. He emphasised that Railways will continue its efforts to develop infrastructure in remote and backward area of the country. Sh. Suresh Prabhu said that we are also working on setting up a dedicated company for implementation of railway projects in collaboration with Govt. of Odisha. I already held discussions with Chief Minister of Odisha who has agreed for the same. Once this dedicated company comes into being, it will have focused attention on implementing projects in Odisha.
In his speech, Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha said that Odisha stands prominently in Indian Railways network having total length of 2516 km. Rail network density in Odisha is 6.00 km/ lakh of population against national average of 5.44 km/lakh of population. The signing of the present MoU will help in creating job opportunities in this naxal affected and under developed area. It is railways endeavour to strengthen the congested network in the country, particularly near the East Coast to meet the growing need of transportation.
Speaking on the occasion, The Speaker , Odisha Legislative Assembly, Shri Niranjan Pujari said that the project will open new vistas of opportunities in this area served by in this railway line. It is, in fact, a lifeline for Odisha. It will bring socio-economic development of most backward area of KBK .
In his address, Minister of Commerce & Transport, Govt. of Odisha, Shri Ramesh Chandra Manjhi said that the Railway line running across the state from east to west will usher the six districts viz. Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Boudh, Subarnapur and Bolangir into a new era of development.
The MPs from the State participating in the programme appreciated the initiative of Minister of Railways in getting this important MoU signed. They also acknowledged that the Odisha has got more allocation for railway projects in this year’s Railway Budget.
In his address Chairman, Railway Board Sh A. K. Mital said that this MoU is a welcome step and will go a long way in infrastructure development in the state of Odisha. The project will be completed in three years of time after handing over the land by the state.
Puri: Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu is coming to the State on a day’s visit on July 16.
On his arrival, Prabhu will proceed to Begunia in Khurda district where he will inaugurate the Khurda Road-Begunia section of the Khurda Road-BAlangir rail line and flag off passenger train on the new line. He will also inaugurate the Khurda Town station building and passenger facilities at Berhampur by remote from Begunia.
The Minister will have a window trailing inspection between Begunia and Malatipur by train and inaugurate the new station building at Malatipur at 6.45 pm. He will proceed to Puri by train and review the arrangements made by the East Coast Railway for the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra.
Prabhu will leave for Bhubaneswar on road at 7.45 pm and return to Delhi in the special flight at 9.15 pm.
Raipur (R): To provide train services to more commuters, the East Coast Railways (ECoR) have decided to extend the run of the Raipur-Bhawanipatna Passenger train up to Junagarh Road from July 8. The Raipur-Junagarh Road Passenger train will leave Bhawanipatna at 10.45 pm and arrive at Junagarh Road at 11.45. In the return direction, the train will leave Junagarh Road station at 1.30 am, Kutrukhamar at 2.02 am and arrive at Bhawanipatna at 2.25 am. The timings for this train between Bhawanipatna and Raipur will remain unchanged. Similarly, the ECoR has decided to extend the services of Bangiriposi-Bhubaneswar-Bangiriposi Express to Puri from July 18 to July 30 for Nabakalebar fest.
Sambalpur (SBP): After rejecting the proposal of the State Government to construct a rail over bridge at Khetrajpur level crossing, the Sambalpur railway division has refused to accord permission to Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to lay underground drinking water pipelines on railway land near MCL Captive Township in Burla.
While denying to give permission, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Ajaya Pratap Singh has asked the MCL authorities to lay pipelines to its Anand Vihar township through Burla town.
To add to the woes, the railway authorities even tried to remove the old pipelines on its land. When members of Odisha Collieries Mazdoor Sangh (OCMS) informed about their activities, Burla police intervened and stopped the work.
Sources said, when the railway authorities were digging out the old pipelines which supply water from the treatment plant in Ananda Vihar township to the corporate office and Jagruti Vihar township located on either side of the power channel at Burla, members of OCMS requested the authorities to stop the work as it would stop water supply to about 1500 MCL staff and their families in Jagruti Vihar but to no avail. Later, they sought the help of Burla Police.
Sources said the suggestion by the DRM to lay pipelines through Burla town would entail huge expenditure while it can be done by laying the pipelines for a couple of kms on railway land.
While the workers of MCL are planning to launch an agitation against the indifferent attitude of railway authorities, how Sambalpur Railway Division allowed private telecom service operators to lay optical fibre cables on its land remain unanswered.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court had directed the State Government not to disconnect or disrupt water pipelines during summer. When the temperature is hovering around 45 degree Celsius, how could the DRM think of removing the old pipelines, a senior official of MCL questioned.
General secretary of OCMS Rabindra Kumar Baboo said the proposal is to replace the existing PVC pipes with iron pipes. Moreover, even if the railway lays tracks, it does not require to dig up the land, he added.
Mandir Hasaud (MNDH): The Indian Railways have commenced the process of laying an 18-kms long broad gauge Railway track from Mandir Hasaud to Kendri village in the new capital region. The Rail line would be connected to the existing Raipur-Visakhapatnam line.
A total of 41 villages would be coming under the project out of which 13 villages would be coming in the first layer and 28 in second layer, officials stated. The Naya Raipur Development Authority (NRDA) had already commenced rural development projects in the villages coming under the Rail line project, they stated.
All poor families from 41 villages in the project area are being allocated BSUP housing in 10 villages. This was informed in a review meeting for NRDA projects held by Housing and Environment Minister Rajesh Munat in the Mantralaya here.
The Minister also informed in the meeting that there is a target of settling a minimum of five lakh people in the new administrative capital by 2030. Early this year, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had put forward a proposal that a Cargo Hub should be developed in Naya Raipur with a Container Depot in Chhattisgarh. He had stated that his Ministry will bear the entire development cost if the Chhattisgarh Government agrees to provide land for the Hub.
To this, Chief Minister Raman Singh who met the Union Railway Minister in New Delhi assured the latter that his Government will provide land for the project.
During the meeting with Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the Chief Minister had also discussed expansion of Rail lines in northern regions of the State and connecting Bastar with the mainstream of the nation.
He had also stated that Bilaspur zone of Chhattisgarh is the biggest contributor of revenue in the Railways and demanded that Raigarh, Jagdalpur, Dongargarh and Uslapur be developed as terminals other than Bilaspur, Durg, Ambikapur and Korba.
Bhubaneswar (BBS): Odisha state Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi informed that the much-delayed Khordha-Balangir railway line project will be completed within six years.
Odisha government and the Railway Board will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard very soon. Also, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed to ensure timely completion of the project.
Majhi also informed that the centre has agreed to the proposal of the state to complete the project work and has also sent a draft MoU that has been approved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
New Delhi: Coal India has announced that the 53-km-long Jharsuguda-Barpali railway link project in Odisha state is expected to be completed by 2017.
According to the company, the rail project will facilitate faster transportation of coal, as the rail line will connect most of the coal mines in Odisha.
The Jharsuguda-Barpali Rail link project is one of the three inter-state rail corridor projects proposed by Coal India to transport coal from three states including Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Press Trust of India cited Coal India Technical Director N Kumar as saying that the connectivity line in Tori-Shivpur-Kathautia Area in North Karanpura, Jharkhand will take time.
Indian government had earlier said it will speed up the construction of three critical rail, including Bhupdeopur-Raigarh-Mand Area in Chhattisgarh– to provide faster transportation of coal to power plants.
Kumar also added: “The soonest which we can expect is Odisha one (Jharsuguda-Barpali railway line in IB Valley, Odisha). In 2017 we expect the line to be completed.
“I think Tori-Shivpur (rail line) will definitely take time due to problems like land acquisition in Jharkhand.”
Sambalpur (SBP): Despite willingness of the State Government and the district administration to support four railway projects in all possible ways, those are yet to take off due to failure on the part of Sambalpur Railway Division (SRD) authorities to take any step.
Ironically, if the four projects proposed by the State Government are commissioned, those will benefit the SRD and its employees. The projects include Road Over Bridge (ROB) at Khetrajpur and Durgapali level crossing, widening of waterways at Dhobijoar Nullah near Sambalpur railway station besides Limited Height Subway (LHS) under railway track dividing Jagannath Colony and Sakhipada.
The State Government had mooted construction of ROB at Khetrajpur level crossing which witnesses congestion of heavy vehicles everyday. Since Khetrajpur is the wholesale hub of essential commodities, goods vehicles are chock-a-block in the area throughout the day. Besides, most of the trains on Sambalpur-Chennai route pass through Khetrajpur leading to frequent closure of gates at level crossing. Every time the gates are closed, traffic movement comes to a halt leading to a chaos.
The construction of ROB would require alienation of 2.12 acres of railway land besides demolition of a few structures but the railway authorities refuse to part with the land though a land alienation proposal and alignment approval has been sent to SRD.
Similarly, Durgapali is part of the Ring Road and is an entry point to Sambalpur City. Besides, it links Burla with Hirakud which are two prominent towns near Sambalpur city. An ROB at Durgapali will not only avoid accidents but also smoothen traffic movement between the two towns and Sambalpur. For this project too, the alignment proposal is pending with the SRD.
The division has also adopted a dilly dallying stance over the Irrigation Department’s proposal of widening of road under railway overbridge between Thakurpada and Danipali, where the water from Dhobijoar Nullah gets obstructed whenever there is flood in Sambalpur. The widening of road would ensure smooth flow of water and prevent inundation of areas like Gopalmal, Danipali, Khamari Tikra, Thakurpada and Dasmati Colony located near Rail Nagar which report loss of lives and property during every flood.
Besides, to ease off traffic from Budharaja to Sakhipada and help in expansion of the City, Sambalpur requires an LHS under railway track between Jagannath Colony at Busharaja and Sakhipada. Though the district administration has sent consent for the project and is willing to fund it, the SRD is yet to make its intention clear.
When contacted, Divisional Railway Manager of SRD Ajaya Pratap Singh said the Division does not have any problem with the LHS or extension of the road between Thakurpada and Danipali if the Irrigation Department is willing to do so. “General Alignment Drawing has been sought for ROB at Durgapali. But, for the ROB proposed over the level crossing at Khetrajpur, alienation of railway land cannot be accepted,” Singh said stressing that he does not have any problem with the ROB, if railway does not have to part with the land.
Although design of the ROB has been submitted for the first time, Singh said he agreed to the design submitted earlier. He parried question about the reason for the delay in the four projects, which would benefit SRD.
■ Road Over Bridge at Khetrajpur
■ Road Over Bridge at Durgapali level crossing
■ Widening of waterways at Dhobijoar Nullah near Sambalpur railway station
■ Limited Height Subway under railway track dividing Jagannath Colony and Sakhipada
Balangir (BLGR): The successful trial run of trains in a stretch of 32-km on Khurda Road-Balangir line on August 31 last year had raised hopes of completion of the project soon. But, the project continues to hang fire with land acquisition posing as a major hurdle.
The railway line which will pass through Khurda, Nayagarh, Boudh, Sonepur and Balangir districts would require construction of 11 tunnels measuring 6.3 km, around 435 bridges including a 660-metre bridge over river Tel besides culverts and other constructions.
Though the State Government had assured the Centre of providing the land free of cost, the acquisition process for the 289-km rail line has hit a road block.
As yet, only land for laying train tracks on 22 kms has been acquired in Balangir district while not a single inch of land has been acquired in Boudh district which has a lion’s share of 122 kms. However, in neighbouring Nayagarh district, land has been acquired from Raj Sunakhala to Nayagarh.
After connecting Khurda Road with Begunia in the first phase, work on the 46-km stretch to Raj Sunakhala was to be completed by March 31 this year and the 66-km stretch till Nayagarh has 2015-16 financial year deadline. But meeting the deadline now seems to be remote considering the slow pace of work.
As per official reports, the budget of the project which was estimated at `4.98 crore after the initial survey has shot up to a staggering `2,000 crore as it witnessed low budgetary provisions in Central Budgets and issues of land acquisition.
The rail link was first surveyed in 1945 by the then Bengal-Nagpur Railway (BNR) administration which found the route important as it connected most backward undivided districts of Balangir, Kalahandi, Koraput and Phulbani with Bhubaneswar. Smaller towns such as Daspalla, Banigochha, Manipur and Boudh were also part of the line.
भुवनेश्वर Bhubaneswar (BBS): Miffed with the dismal progress of key railway projects in industrial belts, apex industry body Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) has sought Railway minister’s intervention to expedite the projects.
The railway projects on slow lane are doubling of Sambalpur-Talcher (174 km) and Sambalpur-Titlagarh (182 km), Angul-Sukinda newline (98.7 km), Banspani-Daitari-Tomka-Jakhapura railway line (180 km) and Haridaspur-Paradip new line (83 km). Only three per cent of the Sambalpur-Talcher project approved in 2010-11, is completed. Similarly, the Sambalpur-Titlagarh doubling project is just two per cent complete though it was included in the Budget of 2006-07. Physical completion of Angul-Sunkinda new line, Banspani-Daitari-Tomka-Jakhapura and Haridaspur-Paradip new line is 14 per cent, 45 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.
“We request your kind and urgent intervention in the matter to ensure expeditious completion of all these projects and also to take up new projects immediately as required as the survival of these industries depends on a reliable railway connectivity and infrastructure”, Debabrata Dash, secretary, UCCI wrote to Railways minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and V K Gupta, Member (Engineering), Railway Board.
The industry chamber pointed out that 45 MoU (memorandum of understanding) signed steel companies have proposed an investment of Rs 195,462.81 crore in the state. Most of these industries have either already gone into commercial production or are on the verge of commencing commercial production. These industries have the potential to add huge value to the industrial growth rate in the country while contributing substantially to the state and central exchequer in terms of direct and indirect taxes, UCCI said.
All these industries depend heavily on rail infrastructure for transportation of raw material from pit head and ports to their plants and finished goods from their plant facilities to various destinations in the country.
संबलपुर Sambalpur (SBP): Train services in Rayagada and Titlagarh Railway Section were disrupted today due to derailment of a goods train between Theruvali and Rayagada under Sambalpur Railway Division of East Coast Railway.
As many as 14 wagons of the train have been derailed last night but no one was hurt in the incident, East Coast Railway (ECoR) sources said today.
As a result, some of the trains have been diverted, rescheduled, short terminated, cancelled and controlled enroute, the ECoR said in a release.
While 18108 Koraput-Rourkela Express was cancelled today, the diverted trains are 12843 Puri-Ahmedabad Express vis Vizianagaram-Duvvada, Bijaywada and Balharshah, 13351 Dhanbad-Alleppey via Titlagarh-Raipur-Nagpur and 17482 Tirupati-Bilaspur Exp via Visakhapatnam-Khurda ROAD- Angul- Sambalpur- Raipur, it said.
Similarly, 18107 Rourkela-Koraput Inter-city Express was short-terminated at Muniguda, while 18517 Korba-Visakhapatnam Express was short terminated at Korba, 18437 Bhubaneswar-Junagarh Exp at Rayagada and 18301 Sambalpur-Rayagada Exp at Kesinga, it said.
Bhubaneswar: Former minister and BJD Rajya Sabha member A U Singhdeo has appealed to the Centre to take up Khurda-Balangir railway line project on a priority basis as it will provide a link to the backward KBK region in the State.
Participating in the budget discussion in the Rajya Sabha, Singhdeo said the Khurda-Balangir railway line project announced two decades back has still not been completed due to lack of funds. This year also, only Rs.100 crore has been provided to the project in the Railway budget, Singhdeo said and added that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has decided to provide land free of cost and also bear 50 per cent construction cost of the project.
He said though allocation of Rs.1420 crore for Odisha in the 2014-15 Railway budget is more than last year’s provision, it is significantly less than the State’s demand of Rs.3,160 crore. As far as Railways are concerned, Odisha continues to be a neglected State, he said.
Singhdeo demanded that the recently announced Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for Odisha in the budget should be set up in Balangir in view of the economic backwardness of the area which would help boost the overall development in KBK region. He also requested the Centre to expedite the establishment of three new medical colleges in Odisha as announced earlier this year.
Singhdeo said the Centre should release funds earmarked under different schemes to States in a timely and adequate manner. During recent years, the Centre has been resorting to plan cuts which has adversely impacted fiscal health of the States and scheme implementation, he said.
जरापादा Jarapada (JRPD): Movement of trains in Angul-Sambalpur section of East Coast Railway (ECoR) was affected on Sunday afternoon after two coaches of Ajmer-Puri Express got derailed on the Jarapada-Boinda Chhak section about 38km from Angul.
The mishap took place on the level-crossing intersecting NH-55 between Boinda and Jarapada stations at about 2.20pm.
Mercifully, there were no reports of any casualties or injuries in the incident.
According to sources, the train stopped on the level-crossing after the derailment of the coaches leading to congestion of vehicles on both sides of the road for nearly two hours.
“After two hours, the technical team came from Sambalpur and separated some coaches facilitating the engine to run to Angul station with the attached bogies. The traffic on the NH too started moving then,” said a source.
The officials in ECoR informed that the divisional railway manager (DRM) Mr Debaraj Panda reached the spot with relief and rescue teams. “The passengers of the two affected coaches were shifted to the other unaffected coaches and the train dispatched from the spot on priority. Though railway medical team reached the site with full preparedness, no medical attention was required due to no injuries reported,” claimed an official.
Following the accident, some trains were cancelled, diverted and short-terminated.
The 18304 Puri-Sambalpur intercity express from Puri was cancelled, while the 18106 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela intercity express ran via Jakhapura and Jaroli towards Rourkela. The 18425 Puri-Durg express ran via Vizianagaram and Rayagada instead of its scheduled path.
Similarly, the 12894 Bolangir-Bhubaneswar intercity express was short-terminated at Sambalpur and remained cancelled between Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar. The 58131 Rourkela-Puri passenger was short terminated at Rairakhol and remained cancelled between Rairakhol and Puri.
Meanwhile, the railways has ordered a high-level enquiry to find out the exact cause of the derailment.
“The report of the enquiry committee is expected to be available within seven days,” said an official.
Bhubaneshwar (BBS): The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has agreed to pay compensation amount to the kin of the victims of Maneswar level crossing tragedy. Earlier the High Court has directed the railway authority to compensate the victim’s family but the later has been deferring the court order since.
At least 14 women died and five other sustained critical injury while they were crossing an unmanned level crossing located between Sambalpur city and Maneswar station on August 24, 2012.
The railway authority agreed to pay Rs 77, 77,569 as compensation to the kin of the victims, the petitioner Prabir das said.
According to reports on the fate day 18 women were returning their home with a three wheeler after work. The women were engaged as daily laborers. While their vehicle was crossing the unmanned level crossing a speeded train rammed over it leaving 12 dead on the spot. The injured including the driver were rushed to the nearest hospital where rest of the 4 were declared dead. Five of them also sustained grievous injuries.
Following the incident rights campaigner and lawyer Prabir Das filed a petition before the High Court seeking proper compensation from the railway to the kin of the victims. Later the court asked the railway authority to properly compensate the victims. The court also made it clear that it authority make delay for the payment then that have to add six percent interest rate to the due amount.
Sambalpur (SBP): A major EPC order has been received from Rail Vikas Nigam for construction of roadbed, major and minor bridges, track linking, outdoor signaling and electrical works in connection with doubling of Sambalpur-Barpali, Barpali-Bolangir, Bolangir-Titalgarh sections as part of Sambalpur-Titalgarh doubling of East Coast Railway project in Odisha.
Another order has been received from the Public Works Department, Government of Maharashtra, for rehabilitation and up-gradation of NH-222 from junction with NH-211 to Manwath (Tadoboragaon) section to two lane with paved shoulders on EPC basis under NHDP-IV.
Also received is a turnkey order from Government of Odisha for two-laning of Kanakotra to Jharsuguda section with paved shoulder including construction of by pass at Belpahar in Odisha. This section connects NH 200 with Jharsuguda.
Sambalpur (SBP): In a bid to safeguard the rights of the children and keeping in view the condition of helpless and unattended children in stations, Sambalpur Railway Division has set up child assistance centres (CACs) at several stations.
“We lay stress on the project which seeks to protect the unattended children at the stations. While we have set up child assistance centres (CACs) at Sambalpur and Titlagarh stations, the division has formed children protection committees at Sambalpur, Bolangir and Titlagarh stations,” informed Mr Devraj Panda, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Sambalpur.
For monitoring children rights protection at the places; awareness programmes and sensitisation measures among stake holders have been initiated, he informed, adding that nodal officers have been identified at the divisional office and also at major stations.
“Emergency telephone numbers at the divisional office for child right protection activities are 0663-2521191 and 0663- 2521179. Similarly, the emergency number at Sambalpur station is 0663-2522122, Bolangir station is 06652-232620 and Titlagarh Station is 06655-220249,” Mr Panda said, claiming that the division will take prompt action after getting information over these phone numbers.
The DRM further stressed that the conscious and responsible citizens should immediately inform the officers in charge of the children protection committees when they find any unaccompanied children at stations or children being transported illegally in trains, lost children loitering at stations etc.
“It must be a joint effort for successful implementation of the project. We can take suitable steps only when citizens extend their support,” he said.
Bhimkhoj (BMKJ) / Mahasamund (MSMD): The movement of trains were disrupted and passengers faced inconvenience for more than three hours as engine of Nizamuddin-Visakhapatnam Samta Express broke down near Bheemkhoj station on Wednesday. Several goods trains were also delayed because of the glitch.
Engine of Samta Express failed between Haadaband railway crossing and Bhimkhoj station late on Tuesday night where the passengers in the train were stranded for over three hours. After a complaint was sent to the management of Bagbahara and Mahasamund railway stations, an engine was brought from Raipur. Subsequently, bogies of Samta Express were attached to the engine and the train proceeded.
The train, which was already running late, reached Bagbahara station at 12 noon instead of its scheduled arrival time at 8 am. After learning about the engine failure of Samta Express, the railway management had halted Visakhapatnam-Durg passenger at Bagbahara station.The passenger train finally reached Mahasamund at 12.45 pm against its scheduled arrival time at 9.35 am. Other Visakhapatnam-bound trains plying via Raipur were halted at Mahasamund Railway Station.
It may be noted that a single railway line is laid from Mahasamund to Titlagarh which has been disrupted for a fortnight. While the line was disturbed from December 12-19 owing to the construction of underbridge, railway traffic was thrown out of gear on December 23 after a tractor met with an accident at an unmanned railway crossing Paterapali route.
Debaraj Panda, an officer of 1985 batch of the Indian Railway Traffic Service has joined as New Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) in Sambalpur Division of East Coast Railway. Prior to this new posting Panda was serving as Chief Freight Transportation Manager (CFTM) of East Coast Railway at Bhubaneswar. Thereafter, he has worked in various important capacities in Adra, Waltair and Khurda divisions of South Eastern Railway and East Coast Railway. He worked as Chief Vigilance officer in East Coast Railway Head quarters office. He also served in IRCTC as Group General Manager at Kolkata and as Chief Passenger Transportation Manager (CPTM) of East Coast Railway head quarters office. Apart from the above, he has also undergone training in strategic Management at Paris and Johannesburg.
Talcher legislator Braja Kishore Pradhan has threatened to paralyse Talcher industrial belt including the Railways, Nalco and MCL for neglecting the region despite earning thousands of crore of rupees annually as revenue.
Speaking at a media conference in Talcher on Sunday, Pradhan said during his visit to New Delhi he had apprised the Ministers of Mine, Railways and Coal of their negligence of the Talcher region even though it is among the highest revenue generating regions in the country.
He said he met the Railway Minister CP Joshi and told him that Talcher has been one of the highest income yielding stations for the Railways in the country. But the area continues to remain neglected in railway connectivity and demanded movement of all long distance trains running on Bhubaneswar-Sambalpur route to pass through Talcher station. Pradhan also demanded that Talcher should be announced a model station with all modern facilities.
During his meeting with Minister of Mines, D Patel, the legislator put forth five demands including jobs to all categories of land oustees, free medical aid and electricity supply to the area.
An eight-point charters of demands was submitted to the Coal Minister Sriprakasah Jaiswal. The demands included formation of separate coal company for Talcher, immediate establishment of medical collage at Talcher, special package for the local people where 70 per cent of MCL coal is produced. Besides, pay hike of miners and extension of other benefits to the contractual workers of MCL, back filling of mines, water supply to all villages in the region, control of pollution and setting up coal tribunal at Talcher were other demands.