Sambalpur (SBP): Despite willingness of the State Government and the district administration to support four railway projects in all possible ways, those are yet to take off due to failure on the part of Sambalpur Railway Division (SRD) authorities to take any step.
Ironically, if the four projects proposed by the State Government are commissioned, those will benefit the SRD and its employees. The projects include Road Over Bridge (ROB) at Khetrajpur and Durgapali level crossing, widening of waterways at Dhobijoar Nullah near Sambalpur railway station besides Limited Height Subway (LHS) under railway track dividing Jagannath Colony and Sakhipada.
The State Government had mooted construction of ROB at Khetrajpur level crossing which witnesses congestion of heavy vehicles everyday. Since Khetrajpur is the wholesale hub of essential commodities, goods vehicles are chock-a-block in the area throughout the day. Besides, most of the trains on Sambalpur-Chennai route pass through Khetrajpur leading to frequent closure of gates at level crossing. Every time the gates are closed, traffic movement comes to a halt leading to a chaos.
The construction of ROB would require alienation of 2.12 acres of railway land besides demolition of a few structures but the railway authorities refuse to part with the land though a land alienation proposal and alignment approval has been sent to SRD.
Similarly, Durgapali is part of the Ring Road and is an entry point to Sambalpur City. Besides, it links Burla with Hirakud which are two prominent towns near Sambalpur city. An ROB at Durgapali will not only avoid accidents but also smoothen traffic movement between the two towns and Sambalpur. For this project too, the alignment proposal is pending with the SRD.
The division has also adopted a dilly dallying stance over the Irrigation Department’s proposal of widening of road under railway overbridge between Thakurpada and Danipali, where the water from Dhobijoar Nullah gets obstructed whenever there is flood in Sambalpur. The widening of road would ensure smooth flow of water and prevent inundation of areas like Gopalmal, Danipali, Khamari Tikra, Thakurpada and Dasmati Colony located near Rail Nagar which report loss of lives and property during every flood.
Besides, to ease off traffic from Budharaja to Sakhipada and help in expansion of the City, Sambalpur requires an LHS under railway track between Jagannath Colony at Busharaja and Sakhipada. Though the district administration has sent consent for the project and is willing to fund it, the SRD is yet to make its intention clear.
When contacted, Divisional Railway Manager of SRD Ajaya Pratap Singh said the Division does not have any problem with the LHS or extension of the road between Thakurpada and Danipali if the Irrigation Department is willing to do so. “General Alignment Drawing has been sought for ROB at Durgapali. But, for the ROB proposed over the level crossing at Khetrajpur, alienation of railway land cannot be accepted,” Singh said stressing that he does not have any problem with the ROB, if railway does not have to part with the land.
Although design of the ROB has been submitted for the first time, Singh said he agreed to the design submitted earlier. He parried question about the reason for the delay in the four projects, which would benefit SRD.
■ Road Over Bridge at Khetrajpur
■ Road Over Bridge at Durgapali level crossing
■ Widening of waterways at Dhobijoar Nullah near Sambalpur railway station
■ Limited Height Subway under railway track dividing Jagannath Colony and Sakhipada