Since Odisha State Government have signed MOU with Indian Railways on 50:50 cost-sharing for development of Railway infrastructure and new Railway lines in the state, it is justifiable to cover all Railway lines of Odisha under one single Railway Zone: says Naveen Patnaik in his letter to Railway Minister
BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday wrote a letter to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal requesting to consider expanding the jurisdiction of East Coast Railway (ECoR) to cover all parts of Odisha under one Railway zone, in similar lines to that of the Income Tax, Central Excise and Department of Posts which comes under the Central Government.
In the letter, the Chief Minister also demanded for creation of three new Railway Divisions at Rourkela, Jajpur/Jajpur-Keonjhar Road and Rayagada under the East Coast Railway.
He said a singular entity for Railways in Odisha will create a lot of synergy and reduce barriers in coordination as well as mobility, which is a major objective and need for Railways today, particularly when the State Government had already signed an MOU with the Ministry of Railways for development of Railway infrastructure and new Railway lines in the state on 50:50 cost sharing.
“The expansion of ECoR has become a necessity in light of the recent industrial projects coming up in Odisha to ensure better coordination and facilitation of bulk customers,” the Chief Minister further said. He said a singular railway entity in Odisha would bring in a lot of synergy and reduce barriers in coordination as well as mobility, which was a major objective and need for the railways today. The proposed reorganisation will help the railways in better delivery of services in the state in terms of both meeting the requirements of the large and medium freight customers, aspiration of amenities for the people and also in expediting the project works,” he said.
The Chief Minister while opposing the demand to take away the existing Waltair Railway Division (Visakhapatnam) from the jurisdiction of ECoR to facilitate formation of a new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh, he said even if such a decision is taken, then it should be done after meeting their demand of bringing the entire Railway networks of various Railway Zones into the Odisha state network.
The central government is considering setting up a new railway zone headquartered in Andhra Pradesh, which lost the zonal headquarters of South Central Railway in Secunderabad.