Bhubaneswar, March 2
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to declare two new Railway Divisions at Rourkela and Jajpur to unify Railways in Odisha under one administrative Zonal Headquarters of ECoR Bhubaneswar
In a letter he said Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal has recently announced the setting up of a new South Coast Railway (SCoR) zone by carving out part of the East Coast Railway’s Waltair Division considering the geographical area of the state which has come as a rude shock to the people of Odisha.
“I have been writing to successive Ministers of Railways of the then UPA II Government and the present NDA Government regarding our demand for re-organisation of Railways in Odisha with three new Divisions,” Patnaik wrote.
Presently, about 70 per cent of Odisha is under the jurisdiction of the East Cost Railway (ECoR) with its headquarters at Bhubaneswar, he said.
Odisha has the maximum resources of almost all major minerals like coal, iron ore, bauxite and manganese ore, he further said adding, “With our thrust on industrialisation and Make in Odisha, we have been able to add value to these minerals within the State.”
Odisha is the highest producer of Steel and Aluminium in the country and with successful operationalisation of power plants, ports and other key infrastructure, industrial output and growth has seen a tremendous increase, he asserted adding, “An efficient and strong Railway network with a single administrative structure within the State is necessary to maintain the impetus of growth.”
The Chief Minister said currently the major minerals like iron ore and coal are under Zonal Railways outside of Odisha.
“My Government has also come forward to invest heavily to bridge the gap in investment in Railway Infrastructure, as in Haridaspur—Paradip and Angul – Sukinda new lines,” he said adding, “The State has provided land free of cost for Khurda Road – Bolangir, Jeypore – Malkangiri, Jeypore – Nabarangpur Projects.
He said the commitment of the State Government to Railway Projects stands in excess of Rs.5000 crore, signifying its focus and priority to this sector.
“It is in this backdrop that Odisha has been asking for re-organisation of Railways in Odisha and unifying the Railways in the State under one administrative Zone East Coast Railways Bhubaneswar, he said.