Bhubaneswar, Jan 18 (Odisha.in) The demand of Rs.6500 crore by chief minister Naveen Patnaik for the state in the upcoming budget for railway sector has triggered a row.
While the Biju Janata Dal government said the funds are required to complete the on going projects, for building up new lines , station modernisation etc, the opposition BJP termed the demand raised in the ‘last minutes’ as a political gimmick.
The chief minister shot a letter to railways minister Piyush Goyal asking him to allocate the package as a large parts of the state remain untouched.
Patnaik demanded fund allocation for six new lines such as Berhampur-Phulbani-Sambalpur, Bhadramchalam-Malkangiri, Bargarh-Nuapada via Padampur, Talcher-Gopalpur, Gopalpur-Singapur Road new broad gauge line and Lanjigarh-Talcher.
“The new lines can bring prosperity along with connectivity to the needy areas. Apart from these, I have proposed to bear 50 per cent of construction and land cost for a line connecting Puri-Konark, the most important tourist section of the state and a popular international destination,” he explained.
BJP says it is a gimmick
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leaders questioned the timing of the letter. “There are only 14 days left for the budget session. Budget documents get printed lot before the budget date which the state government must be aware of” party leaders Sajjan Sharma and Samir Mohanty said.
Railway is unable to spend the allocated funds in the budget. For Ex. The total cost for Bolagarh to Khurda railway line is Rs 700 cr, out of which Rs 450 to Rs 500 Cr is for land acquisition, which railway is unable to spend due to non-cooperation of Odisha Government, they alleged.