Railway Budget Totally Disappointing, Says BJD

Bhubaneswar: The allocations made for railway projects in the Budget presented by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have once again disappointed Odisha.

Information released by the railways shows that there were no major announcements for the State despite heightened industrial activity. This year’s railway budget has no provisions for new lines and projects by the Centre despite requests from the State Government.

The total allocation of funds for the state is practically reduced. What is shown as Rs 4500 Crore in the allocation included Rs 500 Crore of state for Khurda-Bolangir and the out of budget funding of Angul-Sukinda and Haridaspur-Paradip SPV lines.
These SPV companies don’t get any funds from the Union Government and so the numbers shown are misleading.

The Budget also disappoints in terms of allocations on sanctioned works such as Talcher-Bimlagarh, Jaypore-Nabarangput and Jeypore-Malkanagiri projects. While the Gunupur-Theruvalli project which was sanctioned in 2018 is yet to be approved by the NITI Ayog, a token amount of only Rupees 1000 is made in this year’s budget which is a joke for Odisha.

Another big disappointment is no allocation for the Berhampur-Sambalpur line which was planned to be undertaken by State JV company ORIDL with self funding. A token amount of Rupees 1000 has been allocated which is nothing but an eye wash.

The Budget has also made no provisions for allocations to the Wagon manufacturing unit at Sitalapalli Ganjam. Also, there were no announcements regarding new trains for the state in this year’s Budget.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had demanded the Union government for allocation of Rs 7200 Crore in the railway Budget for various projects in Odisha. While the allocations are disappointing for the state, Rajya Sabha Member Amar Patnaik has termed it as yet another lackluster budget for Odisha. He said the state is being continuously neglected by the Center when it comes to railway allocation. The total allocation for the state has practically reduced and many projects have not been touched in the Budget.
The railway budget has disappointed Odisha as there is no new project sanctioned for the State, he said.

Sasmit Patra, Rajya Sabha Member, has also termed the budget allocations as disappointing. He said, while Odisha gives the highest revenue to the railways, it deserves more allocations. As the state is witnessing growth in the mines and minerals sectors, the rail infrastructure of Odisha should have been given more importance.

BJD leader and Commerce & Transport Minister Padmanava Behera has expressed his displeasure over the allocations made for the State in the budget.
The State had demanded Rs 7,200 crore for various railway projects, but the Centre sanctioned only Rs 4,500 crore for Odisha, of which only Rs 500 crore has been allocated for Khurda-Balangir railway project, he said.

There is no new rail line or project sanctioned, completely ignoring the State for its major demands such as Puri-Konark, Bargarh-Nuapada, Chakulia-Buramara, Jajpur-Aradi-Dhamra etc, the Odisha minister added.

Comments are closed.