Bhubaneswar: Dousing a raging controversy over shifting of the proposed railway wagon maintenance factory from Odisha’s Kalahandi district to Visakhapatnam, Union Railway Ministry and Odisha government have decided to form a Joint Working Group to explore establishment of an alternative railway project in that district.
The decision was taken in a meeting held between Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Saturday. The joint working group would comprise of senior officials from Union Railway Ministry and State government.
“Announcement was made to set up wagon factory at two places – one at Narla in Kalahandi and another at Sitalapalli in Ganjam district. The projects, however, could not be materialised. Both Railway Minister and State government have now decided to form a joint working group and take a decision on locating any railway projects in that two place in a month or month and half,” said Mr. Prabhu.
“We discussed Kalahandi wagon factory issue with Union Railway Minister. The group will sort this out. We also take up the issue of railway connection to Malkanagiri and Nabarangpur. We will have video conference on every alternate month to review progress of railway projects in the State,” said Mr. Patnaik.
The information about shifting of wagon repair factory from Narla to Visakhapatnam came to light when the Railway Minister in response to an RTI application furnished a reply that the factory was shifted in view of operational benefits. The piece of information did not go down well in political circle. While Biju Janata Dal had announced to take up with Union Railway Minister, State Congress observed a dawn-to-dusk bandh in Kalahandi.
You will be happy to know that the 61st Railway Week National Award Function is being organised under the auspices of East Coast Railway for the first time after creation of Zone at Bhubaneswar as per programme. Later, Mr. Prabhu and his deputy Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways, gave away awards to railway employees for their performance. Altogether 221 railway employees all over the country including 17 zonal railways and other production units were awarded at this national level award giving ceremony here. Railway Board Chairman and Members also graced the occasion.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu today clarified that no budgetary provision was made by the previous government for Wagon Repairing Workshop in Kalahandi. Inaugurating the free high speed WiFi service at the Bhubaneswar railway station,Mr. Prabhu said the wagon factory was only announced but no budgetary provision made.