Odisha Minister Padmanava Behera terms Rail budget as ‘disappointing’

Bhubaneswar: With presentation of the Budget-2021 at the Parliament, Odisha Government today expressed displeasure over the funds allocated for various railway projects in the State in the Railway Budget.

Speaking to media, Commerce & Transport Minister Padmanava Behera termed the Railway Budget-2021 as ‘disappointing.

“The Railway Budget-2021 is completely disappointing for us. The State had demanded Rs 7,200 crore for various Railway projects, but the Centre allocated only Rs 4,500 crore for Odisha, of which only Rs 500 crore has been allocated for Khurda-Balangir railway project,” Behera said.

He said that there is no new rail line or project sanctioned, completely ignoring the State for its major demands such as Puri-Konark, Bargarh-Nuapada, Chakulia-Buramara, Jajpur-Aradi-Dhamra etc.

“In the Railway Budget for the year 2021-22, the allocation of fund has been reduced. What is shown in capital budget as approximately Rs 4,500 crore included Rs 500 crore for Khurda-Bolangir and the out of budget funding of Angul Sukinda and Haridaspur Paradip SPV lines. These SPV companies don’t get any fund from the Centre and so the numbers shown are misleading and disappointing as against Odisha’s demand of Rs 7,200 crore. Also in the list of Government of India (GOI), many completed projects are being shown to inflate numbers,” the Minister said in his statement.

Further, allocations on individual important sanctioned works are extremely disappointing for the projects such as Talcher-Bimlagarh, Jeypore-Nabarangpur and Jeypore-Malkanagiri. For example for Talcher-Bimlagarh, only Rs 10 crore has been allocated which will not be sufficient to construct half kelometre of railway track.

The projects like Gunupur-Theruvalli sanctioned in the year 2018 is yet to be approved by NITI Aayog and so a token of only Rs 1000 is allotted. Berhampur-Sambalpur line is planned for constructed by State JV company ORIDL with self funding. Yet it is shown in budget but with a token Rs 1000 allotment. And there is no progress on railway workshops which are sanctioned long back like Wagon manufacturing unit at Sitalapalli in Ganjam, stated a release on highlights of Railway Budget for Odisha.


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