BHUBANESWAR: The central government has sanctioned a new railway project for Kalahandi district in the Union Budget 2017. Railways will set up an Electric Loco Periodical Overhauling Workshop, a maintenance workshop for electric engines, at Narla in the district to be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 186.37 crore. It has sanctioned a token amount of Rs 1 lakh for the beginning of the project.
The railways had faced widespread criticism and protests from people of the state for shifting the proposed wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi district to Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh. Even chief minister Naveen Patnaik had taken up the issue with railway minister Suresh Prabhu to give an alternative project to the state.
Besides this, the railways will set up a new project, Freight Train Maintenance facility, at Maneswar in Sambalpur district. This goods train maintenance workshop will be established at an estimated cost of Rs 49.16 crore. Only Rs 1 lakh as token amount has been sanctioned for the project.
But the railways has not sanctioned any amount for the Sitalapalli wagon factory project in Ganjam district. Though the project doesn’t get any amount this year, it is alive, said East Coast Railway (ECoR) general manager Umesh Sharma here on Friday.
This time Odisha got five new rail lines in the budget. These are extension of Naupada-Gunupur (79.15 km) new line up to Therubali, a link line between Dumitra station and Bisra station (2.3 km) under south eastern railway (SER), Gopalpur-Singapur Road (155.5 km), Talcher-Gopalpur (220 km) and Badampahar-Bangiriposi (45 km). First two lines will be constructed with railway funding while the last three lines will be constructed in joint venture between the state government and the railways.
Apart from this, survey will be conducted for 11 new lines, doubling, third lines and fourth lines in the state, said the ECoR sources.
In the Budget 2017, the railways has sanctioned the highest ever allocation of Rs 5,102 crore for development of Odisha’s railway infrastructure. It is 9% higher than last year’s allocation Rs 4,682 crore.