Railway drops work of proposed Wagon Factory at Sitalapalli

BHUBANESWAR: The ministry of railways has decided to drop the proposed work of setting up of a Wagon Manufacturing Factory at Sitalapalli in Ganjam district.

“There appears no need of constructing any new wagon manufacturing factory in the immediate future,” Gohain had told Naveen Patnaik in the letter.

The RTI revelation evoked sharp reaction from ruling BJD and opposition Congress. Even the RTI reply said there is no other proposal at present for setting up of wagon factory in the ECoR zone.

Answering rights campaigner Hemanta Kumar Panda’s RTI query, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) said the Railway Board has taken the decision as sufficient capacity for manufacturing of wagons is available over Indian Railways. Even the RTI reply said there is no other proposal at present for setting up of wagon factory in the ECoR zone.

Official sources said establishment of five wagon manufacturing factories had been announced in the budget (2011-12) under public private partnership (PPP) mode. These places were Guwahati, Bardhaman, Haldia, Secunderabad and Bhubaneswar (later changed to Sitalapalli).

After the project was sanctioned in 2012-13, the state government had identified 101 acres of land at Sitalapalli near Berhampur. Even the Railways sanctioned token money for the project till 2016. Last year it stopped sanctioning any token amount for the project.

Minister of State for Railways (MOSR) Rajen Gohain on March 28 last year had written a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik regarding difficulties in constructing the wagon factory project. The Railways had originally proposed the POH (periodical over haul) shop in Kalahandi district in 2013.

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