Visakhapatnam (VSKP): The highest revenue earning Division of East Coast Railway (ECoR) has been allocated the lowest funds for taking up electrification works during the last 10 years under the ECoR dispensation.
A total of 1,178.52 TKM (Total Kilometres) was taken up for electrification in Khurda Division from the financial year 2004-05 till date.
The share of Sambalpur Division was 363 TKM. Waltair Division has a dismal share of 127.52 KM from 2004 to 2012.
“Interestingly, the funds allocated to Waltair Division are for areas that are to a greater extent in Odisha,” says Duvvada Railway Station User’s Association secretary K. Eswar, who has obtained the information from the ECoR authorities under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
The break-up given for Khurda Division (in TKM) is: 2004-05 –— 175.66; 2005-06 –— 253.62, 2006-07 –— nil; 2007-08 –— 268.68, 2008-09 –— 111.7, 2009-10 –— 37.75, 2010-11 –— 189, 2011-12 –— 97.65, 2012-13 –— 27.72, and 2013-14 –— 16.74.
The break up for Waltair Division (in KM as per O/o Sr. Div. EE, Waltair) is: 2004-05 –— 41.78 (provided), 2005-06 –— 0.715 (in progress), 2006-07 –— 1.51, 2007-08 –— 11.98, 2008-09 –— 7.5, 2009-10 –— 16.49, 2010-11 –— 8 (the work for the above five years was sanctioned), and 2011-12 –— 7.65 (sanctioned) and 21.9 (in progress), taking the total to a mere 127.52 KM.
The electrification works for 2012-13 and 2013-14 were left blank for Waltair Division.
Under a separate head under Waltair Division, the electrification work for Vizianagaram to Singapur Road was mentioned as 139 RKM (Route Kilometre –— Rs.88.52 crore approximately) and Singapur Road to Damanjodi 152 RKM, without any mention of the financial years during which the works were sanctioned. The grand total under these two heads was given as 291 RKM (549 KM).
Gajuwaka MLA Chintalapudi Venkatramaiah has already written to the Railway Minister regarding the injustice being done to the Waltair Division by the ECoR administration with a “regional feeling” towards Odisha, be it in the laying of new lines, taking up surveys for construction of new stations, and other development works.
The authorities are giving more stoppages to trains in Khurda and Sambalpur divisions while ignoring genuine demands for halts in the Waltair Division.
Mr. Venkataramaiah has also expressed the view that a separate railway zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam is the only solution to end the “injustice” being done to the Waltair Division.
‘The highest revenue earning Waltair Division has been allocated lowest funds, that too for areas that are to a great extent in Odisha’