BHUBANESWAR: The Assembly Committee on railways has decided to demand more funds for ongoing projects in the State for their completion.
Several ongoing projects in the State have been delayed because of inadequate funds and other problems including land acquisition. The Committee members will meet Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday at New Delhi and submit a memorandum seeking an allocation of Rs 5000 crore for Odisha in the railway budget of 2016-17.
The House Committee met on Tuesday to finalise the memorandum to be submitted to the Railway Minister. Former minister and a member of the committee Amar Prasad Satpathy told mediapersons that the focus will be on railway links to tourist destinations and districts with mineral deposits.
The memorandum will request for early completion of five ongoing projects, four of which were sanctioned more than 10 years back. These are Khurda-Balangir rail project (289 km, sanctioned in 1994-95), Haridaspur-Paradeep SPV project (82 km, sanctioned in 1995-96), Angul-Duburi-Sukinda SPV project (90 km, sanctioned in 1997-98), Talcher-Bimlagarh (154 km, sanctioned in 2004-05) and Jaleswar-Digha (40 km, sanctioned in 2010-11).
The Khurda-Balangir railway line has been delayed due to low budgetary provisions over the years and incomplete land acquisition. The project, sanctioned in 1994-95, was originally estimated at Rs 1,000 crore. The project cost has now gone up to Rs 1995.25 crore.
Though Haridaspur-Paradip railway line project was sanctioned 20 years back, land acquisition was started in 1997. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) has been set up to complete the Rs 275 crore project. An SPV has also been set up for Angul-Duburi-Sukinda special railway project whose cost estimate has gone up to Rs 1100 crore.
Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said the Committee has decided to demand a wagon factory at Kantabanji in Balangir district. Besides, metro rail for Bhubaneswar-Cuttack and Jharsuguda-Rourkela will also be demanded.
Though the Assembly Committee had sought appointment to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is yet to respond.