बेरहामपुर Berhampur (BAM): Four years after the Centre announced setting up of a Railway wagon factory at Sitalapalli surrounded by Berhampur Tehsil in Odisha’s Ganjam district, the groundwork is yet to begin.
Even though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Railway Ministry to expedite the work several times, there has been no progress. The then railway minister Mamata Banerjee announced construction of the factory in her budget speech in 2011-12, said former Rajya Sabha member Renubala Pradhan.
The project was to be implemented on public private partnership mode and the ministry had sought 100 acre from the state.
The district administration has earmarked 101 acre in the area. The selection of the site for the project has already been conveyed to the ministry, official sources said.
“Besides dispatching letters to railway ministers. I discussed some of the state projects, including the Wagon factory, with the then railway ministers Dinesh Trivedi and Pawan Kumar Bansal,” Pradhan said.
“They have only kept the project alive in the budget by allocating a meagre amount due to our persuasion,” she added.
Higher education minister Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi, who represents Gopalpur, expressed displeasure over the delay in starting the project, which comes under his constituency. Sitalapalli is situated near Jagannathpur Railway station.
Establishment of the wagon factory assumes significance as Tata Steel is setting up an industrial park near the project site, while all-weather Gopalpur Port is under construction nearby.