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Former MP condemns cut in fund for rly projects in Odisha

Posted on Dec 19, 07:38AM | UNI

Former Parliament member Bhabani Hota today came down heavily on the railway ministry for a further cut in the allocation of fund to the railway projects in Odisha.

In a statement here, Mr Hota described the action of the railway ministry as 'anti-Odisha attitude' and is highly condemnable both in terms of fund allocation and introduction of new trains including increasing frequency of trains.

He said against allocation of Rs 1361.67 crore in 2011-12, the ministry had brought down it by half to Rs 713 crore in the current year budget. Even out of this meager allocation a further cut of Rs 194 crore was effected in three installments.

Due to the cut in the allocation of fund, the Khurda Road- Bolangir, Talcher-Bimlagarh and Sambalpur-Talcher double line projects would be worst affected. The railway, he said, had cut Rs 30 crore from Sambalpur-Talcher doubling projects.

The former MP said it was shocking that the cut has been done in the background of claiming in its website that the East Coast Railways(ECoR) as one of the blue chip zones of Indian Railways and was poised to take the lead role in meeting the increased transport demand of this region.

Mr Hota said recently EcoR introduced 02281/02282 Bhubaneswar-New Delhi weekly special trains similar to the Duronto Express and two trains from Visakhapatnam to Chennai and Sai Nagar Shirdi.

While welcoming introduction of new trains,he said that it would have better for the people of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack to introduce and a large part of Western Orissa to introduce Rajdhani Express from Bhubaneswar-Cuttack to New Delhi via henkanal-Angul-Sambalpur- Bilaspur to cut both travelling hours and cost of passengers.

Similarly, the frequency of Vishakhapatnam-Amritsar Exp should have been increased to daily and introducing Titilagarh-Allahabad Express via olangir-Bargah-Sambalpur- Jharsuguda.

The Visakhapatnam-Chennai train also could have been extended to Sambalpur.

In a letter to the Union Railway Minister, Mr Hota demanded consideration of new train,increase in frequency of trains and increase allocation for three infrastructure projects.