Bhubaneswar, Nov 06 (Odisha.in) Orissa seeks increased allotment of Rs.1000 crore in the Union Railway Budget in 2008-09 fiscal for the development of Railway sector in the state.
The House Committee on Railways headed by the Speaker is expected to submit
a memorandum to the Prime Minister and Union Railway Minister during the third week of the current month.
“The house panel has sought appointment with the Prime Minister and the union Minister for discussion and submission of a memorandum highlighting the backwardness and the funds required to development of Railways.” Speaker, Maheswar Mohanty said Monday.
“The Ministry of Railways will be requested to allot Rs.1000 crore towards ongoing railway projects, sanction of new lines, surveys, improvement of passenger amenities with introduction of new trains, extensions and increase of frequency etc.,” said the Chairman of the state Assembly Committee on Railways.
Appreciating the requirement of the state on Railways prepared by the Transport and Commerce Department, the committee in its draft memorandum has requested the
ministry of railways to commission all the sanctioned projects within a period of five years.
The draft memorandum has listed at least introduction of 17 new trains, increasing frequency of four trains- Rajdhani Express to daily via Sambalpur, Rourkela, Ranchi and Gomoth, Bhubaneswar-Kurla Express to three days, Visakhapatnam-Nizamuddin Express to daily, Prui-Patna to thrice a week with an extenstion to Dehradun.
Besides, the draft has proposed extension of five trains and with the demand for expansion of Bhubaneswar coaching terminal and development of coaching terminals at Berhampur, Sambalpur and Koraput.
While the Committee has proposed lying of new railway lines, requested sanction for survey of seven potential new railway lines.
Considering the industrial boom in the state and lack of railway infrastructure to take the traffic load for transport of goods and raw materials as well as passengers the committee felt that the next five years are critical for the state.
Stating that Orissa shall make the transition to a vibrant and throbbing industrially developed state, the Committee through its draft memorandum recommended increase in allotment of funds for the ongoing projects, sanction of new railway lines, surveys , introduction of new trains , completion of sanctioned projects , electrification and doubling of railway lines.
The Committee lamenting that the development of railway corridors in very tardy, It mentioned that while the state contributes significantly to the revenue of Indian Railways, the railways route length spread across Orissa is mere 2495 Kms with an average of 15.03 Km per 1000 Sq.km as against the national average of 19 and much l less than the average in the contiguous states.
While the draft memorandum listed requirement of Rs.500 crore for six sanctioned rail Links, Rs.50 crore for two lines for electrification, Rs.100 crore for gauge conversion of two lines and rest Rs.450 crore to double the seventeen lines.
The Committee expressed its concerned that the union railway ministry has not been allotting funds keeping the requirement in view of the request of the state.
“The House panel on behalf of the government had proposed Rs.785 crore for the railway development and the actual allotment was only Rs.606 crore.