While the Congress and the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) expressed their disappointment despite an increase in budget allocation to the state against last year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) described it people-oriented railway budget.
“I understand that there is a 52 percent increase in the budget outlay of railways. Odisha has also been correspondingly given increased allotment. Further, due allocations have been made for our ongoing major projects like Khurdha-Bolangir,” Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters.
He said some of the traditionally neglected railway sections like Sambalpur-Titlagarh, Sambalpur-Talcher have been given due weightage in the budget.
The chief minister, however, expressed his disappointment over the token allocation of Rs.1,000 for the proposed railway wagon factory at Sitalapali in Ganjam district.
“Further, when there is a package for the northeast and Kashmir regions, no such special package has been given for our inaccessible and backward districts with zero railway network despite our commitment to provide land free of cost along with 50 percent of project cost,” said the chief minister.
Odisha Pradesh Congress president Prasad Harichandan said the railway budget has disappointed the people of the state as there is a meagre allocation to the state.
The BJP welcomed the budget stating that it a pro-people budget and revolutionary.
“The Narendra Modi government’s first budget has given importance on modernisation of trains, long line electrification, more boggy in trains, speed ticket booking etc. It is a pro-people budget and the people of the state would be benefited,” said senior BJP leader Pratap Sarangi.
He said Odisha has got central assistance of Rs.2,514 crore in the rail budget against a demand of Rs.3,200 crore by the state government.
Odisha has got Rs.1,254 crore for line doubling and gauge conversion, Rs.261.52 crore for passenger amenities, Rs.98.95 crore for traffic facilities and Rs 49.68 crore for mechanical support.
Meanwhile, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has received Rs.3,112 crore in the budget, 36 percent higher than last year.
While the new Angul-Sukinda line has been allocated Rs.75 crore, the Haridaspur-Paradeep new line has received Rs.36 crore.
The Bansapani-Jakhapura got the highest allocation of Rs.513 crore, Sambalpur-Titlagarh line doubling got Rs.470 crore followed by the Talcher-Bimalagarh (Rs 280 crore), Raipur-Titlagarh (Rs 241.52 crore) and Khurda Road-Bolangir (Rs.195 crore) lines. (IANS)