Bhubaneswar (BBS): Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday clarified that the Indian Railways has not yet taken any decision to bifurcate the Waltair division from the East Coast Railway (ECoR). Addressing mediapersons at the BJP party office, Pradhan said, “If the Railway Ministry announces such a decision, the BJP State unit would strongly protest the move.”
He said the BJP would hail a decision of the Railway Ministry forming a special railway zone in Odisha by uniting all the divisions located in the State. Also, he said a committee had been formed during the UPA Government to look into the demands of the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governments on formation of a Waltair division.
While replying to another question, Pradhan dubbed the reports of shifting of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) from Sunabeda as baseless.
On disinvestment in the Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), he justified the disinvestment process, saying the funds generated from it is used in continuing development projects across the country. In his reaction to Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick’s allegation that the Centre didn’t accept the State’s recommendation to give mines to Posco, Pradhan said Odisha had recommended to the Centre for mines to Posco three days before the MMDR Act. Why the State did not do it two years before, he asked.
Pradhan said the Centre has planned to set up a defence manufacturing unit with the help of the Tata Company at the company’s acquired land at Gopalpur in Ganjam district. He stated that his Ministry has decided to establish a Skill Development Centre in Bhubaneswar which would be a Centre of Excellence in the eastern region. Other Ministries of the Centre would set up around 30 such centres in the State to improve skill of youths, he added.
He also referred to the Modi Government’s schemes, plans and decisions like the Jan-Dhan Yojana to connect poor with banks, Mudra bank for small entrepreneurs, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for cleanliness, foreign polices to boost India’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, set up of SIT to probe black money stashed in foreign banks, to insure the lives of poor of the country and others popular decisions. Earlier in the day, Pradhan inaugurated a photo exhibition ‘Saal Ek Shuruat Anek’ at the Idco Exhibition Ground here projecting the successes of the Modi Government.