Odisha Chief Minister calls on Union Minister for Railways and Coal

Odisha Chief Minister

Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik met the Hon’ble Union Minister for Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal in New Delhi this week.

Hon’ble Chief Minister informed the Hon’ble Union Minister about the status of various Railway projects and train services in Odisha. Highlighting that Government of Odisha had signed MoU with Ministry of Railways for two important lines of Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur with substantial financial participation from the State, he urged upon the Hon’ble Union Minister to commence the work on these lines at the earliest. Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that a new line between Puri and Konark having vast tourism potential is essentially required for which the State has committed to share 50 per cent of the construction and land cost and impressed upon the Union Minister to sanction the project expeditiously.

Hon’ble Chief Minister apprised that Government of Odisha has already started the process to re-develop Bhubaneswar Railway Station with international class passenger amenities by bearing 100 per cent cost and desired that the Ministry of Railways should expedite the re-development of 11 other Railway Stations in Odisha identified by them, on similar lines. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also expressed the need for re-commissioning of Railway Stations at Parlakhemundi and Kashinagar and upgrading Gunupur with terminal station facility to enable handling of more coaching trains.

Hon’ble Chief Minister mentioned that there has been undue delay by Rail Vikas Nigam Limited in the commissioning of two significant lines of Angul-Sukinda and Haridaspur-Paradip which have witnessed frequent revision of completion schedule to future dates and urged upon the Union Minister to complete these lines at the earliest and to approve running of passenger services on these lines. Hon’ble Chief Minister expressed concern about the poor progress of many new lines including capacity augmentation projects and impressed upon the Union Minister to expedite completion of these projects including Sambalpur-Titlagarh-Raipur doubling, Sambalpur-Angul doubling, 3rd line of Bhadrak-Barang-Bhubaneswar-Vijayanagaram, Sukinda-Nayagarh doubling and Digha-Jaleswar new line.

Hon’ble Chief Minister informed that very few new passenger train services have been introduced in Odisha in the last few years and desired improved passenger train services in Odisha. He urged upon the Union Minister to start Rajdhani train from Bhubaneswar to Delhi via Sambalpur, make Hirakud Express to run daily, introduce Humsafar type new AC express train to be named as Buxi Jagabandhu Express from Khurda Road Station to Mumbai via Sambalpur as part of the bi-centenary celebration of the historic Paika Rebellion and extend the Howrah-Bhubaneswar Jan Shatabdi Express to Nayagarh Town to provide direct connectivity to Kolkata for people of these areas.

Hon’ble Union Minister assured that every effort would be made to expedite implementation of various Railway projects as raised by Hon’ble Chief Minister and sought the cooperation of the State Government in making required land available to the Railways in time and to support various projects through financial participation on mutually agreed terms.

Hon’ble Chief Minister also urged upon the Union Minister of Coal to suitably enhance the bridge coal linkage to Odisha Power Generation Corporation and to allocate a suitable coal block to Odisha Thermal Power Corporation in lieu of the earlier allocated Tentuloi Coal Block. While assuring the Hon’ble Chief Minister to expedite the decisions on these issues, the Hon’ble Union Minister of Coal sought the cooperation of the State Government in augmenting the coal production of Mahanadi Coal Limited, particularly at Talcher coal field.