02 March 2019
Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has called the establishment of South Coast Railway, carving out a part of the East Coast Railway, as a 'rude shock to the people of Odisha'.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Odisha CM sought withdrawal of the proposal for bifurcation of ECoR and create two new - Rourkela and Jajpur Divisions under ECoR.
Apart from having the maximum resources of almost all major minerals like coal, iron ore, bauxite and manganese, Odisha is the highest producer of steel and aluminium.
“With our thrust on industrialisation, we have been able to add value to these minerals. With successful operationalisation of power plants, ports and other key infrastructure, industrial output and growth has seen a tremendous increase,” Naveen stated.
"An efficient and strong railway network with a single administrative structure within the state is necessary to maintain the impetus of growth," he added.
Presently, about 70 percent of Odisha is under the jurisdiction of the East Coast Railway. However, the major minerals like iron ore and coal are under the Zonal Railways outside Odisha, the Chief Minister noted.
The Odisha Government has come forward to invest heavily to bridge the gap in investment in railway infrastructure as in Haridaspur - Paradip and Angul - Sukinda new lines. The State has provided land, free of cost for Khurda Road-Bolangir, Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur projects.
"The commitment of my Government to Railway projects stands today in excess of Rs 5,000 crore, signifying our focus and priority to this sector," Naveen mentioned.
Odisha has been asking for re-organisation of Railways and unifying Railways in the state under one administrative Zone - ECoR, Bhubaneswar. As Government of India has created the SCoR considering the geographical area of the State, the similar demand of Odisha may be considered likewise, he added.