Monday, October 8, 2007

Connect KBK with Rail, Oct 8, 2007


Sample the rail infrastructure owes of Orissa!

While the country is set to march ahead with high speed rail and freight corridors, at least seven of the 30 districts of Orissa do not have any rail line passing through them.

The density of railway route length per 1000 of area in Orissa was only 15.05 km as against 42.66 km in West Bengal and 19.11 km at All India level.

Orissa do not have any of the production unit of Indian Railways.

Under this backdrop office bearers of Orissa Society of the Americas (OSA) have demanded a fair deal for the state in general and KBK in particular.

Presenting a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Pratap Das, President, Asutosh Dutta, Vice-President, Priyadarsan Patra, General Secretary and Sandip K. Dasverma, Treasurer of OSA have urged upon Dr.Man Mohan Singh to bridge the ever expanding gap of rail infrastructure between Orissa and the country.

They have pointed out that backward districts like Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Boudh, Kandhamal, Deogarh, Nayagarh and Kendrapada do not have a single inch of rail line.

While the Railway Ministry has grand plans for the Eleventh Plan period that includes two freight corridors, high speed rail, and metro rail in several areas and it has a budget of Rs 251,000 crores, none of these high flying plans are in Orissa.

We are not in a position to rue over that; rather we, request that when the most backward and poorest of the poor KBK districts should not lag behind due to central apathy.

Non Resident Odiyas (NRO)s have also requested Dr. Montek Singh Alhuwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning commission to give proper funding to the Khurda Road – Balangir, Gunupur--Theruvali, Lanjigarh Road –Bhawanipatna – Junagarh – Nabarangpur, Jeypore – Malkangiri – Bhadrachalam Road (Andhra Pradesh) and (d) Talcher – Bimlagarh rail projects.

OSA has expressed happiness that Indian Railways is already considering lines related to connectivity to ports and mineral transportation such as Talcher-Sukinda Road and Bhadrakh-Dhamara.

But they have pointed out to Dr.Singh to provide better access to KBK area, which is infested by the Left Wing Extremists (LWE).

NROs have impressed upon the Prime Minister to ask the Railway ministry to establish a production unit in the KBK area of Orissa as the raw material requirement of the unit can be taken care by the steel plants and aluminum complexes, which are coming up in the state in a big way.

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