Bhubaneswar (BBS): A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed today between the Ministry of Railways and the Government of Odisha on implementation of Dasapalla-Bolangir segment of Khurda Road – Bolangir New Broad Gauge Railway Line on cost sharing basis. The agreement was signed in the presence of Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of State for Railways Sh. Manoj Sinha, Speaker, Odisha Legislative Assembly, Shri Niranjan Pujari, Minister of Commerce & Transport, Govt. of Odisha, Shri Ramesh Chandra Manjhi, Members of Parliament from Odisha namely Shri A.U. Singh Deo, Shri Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, Dr.Prasanna Kumar Patasani, Ms. Pratyusha Rajeshwari Singh, Sh. Baishnab Parida were among those present on the occasion. Signatories to the MoU were Shri Ved Parkash Dudeja, Executive Director (Works) Ministry of Railways and Shri Sanjay Rastogi, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Commerce & Transport Deptt., Govt. of Odisha.
Khurda Road-Bolangir (289 km) new line project has been taken up by Railways at an anticipated cost of Rs.3050 cr. To complete this important infrastructure project, Government of Odisha has consented to partner with Railways by providing land free of cost and sharing 50% of the construction cost for Dasapalla to Bolangir(177 kms) part of this project. The present MoU has been signed for this cost sharing arrangement.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu said that signing of this MoU will go a long way in developing infrastructure in Odisha, as Khurda-Bolangir new line running from East to West across the state will accelerate the development in the districts falling on this line. The State of Odisha, being a mineral rich state, has a special place in today’s economic scenario of our country and Railway is aware of its responsibility to cater to the needs of transportation of people and goods. He also assured that Railways will complete the projects expeditiously. He called upon Railway Board officials to implement all Railway projects using the management practice of PERT (project evaluation and review technique) so that proper timelines and proper task assignments can be ensured in implementing the projects.
Sh. Suresh Prabhu pointed out that Odisha got special attention since formation of the new government at Centre. We enhanced the outlay for development of railway network in Odisha in 2014-15 (Rs 1073 cr.) by about 40% as compared to 2013-14(Rs 754 cr.). This year, it has been further enhanced to 3 times (Rs 3310 cr ) as compared to last year. He emphasised that Railways will continue its efforts to develop infrastructure in remote and backward area of the country. Sh. Suresh Prabhu said that we are also working on setting up a dedicated company for implementation of railway projects in collaboration with Govt. of Odisha. I already held discussions with Chief Minister of Odisha who has agreed for the same. Once this dedicated company comes into being, it will have focused attention on implementing projects in Odisha.
In his speech, Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha said that Odisha stands prominently in Indian Railways network having total length of 2516 km. Rail network density in Odisha is 6.00 km/ lakh of population against national average of 5.44 km/lakh of population. The signing of the present MoU will help in creating job opportunities in this naxal affected and under developed area. It is railways endeavour to strengthen the congested network in the country, particularly near the East Coast to meet the growing need of transportation.
Speaking on the occasion, The Speaker , Odisha Legislative Assembly, Shri Niranjan Pujari said that the project will open new vistas of opportunities in this area served by in this railway line. It is, in fact, a lifeline for Odisha. It will bring socio-economic development of most backward area of KBK .
In his address, Minister of Commerce & Transport, Govt. of Odisha, Shri Ramesh Chandra Manjhi said that the Railway line running across the state from east to west will usher the six districts viz. Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Boudh, Subarnapur and Bolangir into a new era of development.
The MPs from the State participating in the programme appreciated the initiative of Minister of Railways in getting this important MoU signed. They also acknowledged that the Odisha has got more allocation for railway projects in this year’s Railway Budget.
In his address Chairman, Railway Board Sh A. K. Mital said that this MoU is a welcome step and will go a long way in infrastructure development in the state of Odisha. The project will be completed in three years of time after handing over the land by the state.