BJD raises concerns over fall in budget allocation for railway projects in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD today raised concerns over the reduction in overall allocation for railway projects in Odisha during Budget 2020-21.

BJD National Spokesperson said, “The reduction in overall allocation for the state is a cause of serious concern as Odisha remains one of the least rail coverage states in the country despite the state contributing maximum revenue.”

He expressed disappointment as no new railway project has been introduced in sectors that were suggested by the state with a commitment to share cost. “We expected to get sanction for projects like Puri-Konark; Bargarh-Nuapada; Jajpur-Aradi-Dhamra; Chakulia-Buramara, Gunupur-Therubali (new line) where State has committed assistance,” he added.

The BJD, however, welcomed the Gopalpur-Sambalpur proposed line and said, “This will be a big economic booster to the area if executed in time.”

Patra also welcomed introduction of more Tejas type trains and expected that more numbers of such trains would be introduced in Odisha as well.

He suggested the Railways to improve their expenditure and track record in completion of delayed projects.

Opposition Congress, however, blamed both the state and the central government for the reduction in allocation for railway development in Odisha.

“The state government has failed to make proper demand in getting more allocations,” said Congress MLA Suresh Routray.

After approval of the NITI Aayog on proposed Sambalpur-Gopalpur new line, the allocation for Odisha will certainly increase, BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said.

The Centre has allocated Rs 4,373 crore to Odisha for different railway projects in Union Budget 2020-21 as compared to Rs 5,993 crore allocation that the State received in 2019-20 fiscal.

(with agency inputs)

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