Odisha, Railways to sign pact on Khurda-Bolangir line

Bhubaneswar (BBS): The Railway ministry and Odisha government will enter into a memorandum of understanding (Mou) for expediting the completion of inordinately delayed Khurda Bolangir rail line on cost sharing basis.

The cost for implementation of Daspalla – Bolangir segment of Khurda Road and Bolangir New Broad Gauge line would be shared equally between the two. The state government has agreed to provide the required land free of cost.

The cost of construction of the segment is estimated at Rs 2,000 crore and it is likely to be completed in six years.

“Chief minister has already brought to the notice of Union Railway minister about the prolonging delay in the completion of the Khurda Road – Bolangir rail line. The state government has offered the Centre to share 50 per cent of the project cost and provide the required land free of cost. A pact will be signed between the state government and Railway ministry on July 20 for completion of the project within a stipulated time period of six years,” said Ramesh Chandra Majhi, state commerce & transport minister.

Of the total length of 289 kilometres of this railway line, work on 32 kilometers (Khurda to Begunia) have been completed. Railways minister Suresh Prabhu and chief minister Naveen Patnaik are slated to flag off the maiden train on the completed section on Thursday.

To avoid the extra rush during the Nabakalebara festival at Puri, Railways have made elaborate arrangements.

“Railways will be running more than 200 special trains for avoiding extra rush. In addition, coach augmentation will be done in the existing trains for carrying more passengers,” said divisional railway manager (DRM), Khurda Road, S K Singh.