CM requests Railway Ministry to take up Mayurbhanj projects

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested the Railways Ministry to sanction two missing link projects in Mayurbhanj district.

In a letter to Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, the Odisha CM reminded him of a previously sanctioned missing link of 50 kilometre between Buramara in Mayurbhanj of Odisha to Chakulia in Jharkhand, which the Railways has now proposed to drop on the ground of lack of financial viability.

Patnaik also mentioned about the completed survey for a 42 kilometre railway line between Bangiriposhi and Gorumahisani in Mayurbhanj. Even for this missing link, work is not being sanctioned by Railways citing low rate of return.

The Chief Minister asserted that Mayurbhanj was a rich princely State prior to independence and always had a large rail network. However, Railways have not invested much to expand the pre-independece rail network that was existing in the then princely State of Mayurbhanj, he added.

Patnaik stated, “In more than 70 years after Independence, Railways have only commissioned the gauge conversion work on the existing single line of 90 km between Rupsa to Bangiriposhi in the year 2006. I believe there was a reason why this princely State had invested heavily in the rail network and we need to go extra mile to provide better connectivity and services to the people of Mayurbhanj.”

He further added that the existing Rupsa-Bangiriposhi line on the one end connects to the Howrah-Chennai trunk route at Rupsa but ends as a dead end at Bangiriposhi on the other side. With this arrangement, trains only ply from Rupsa side and come back to the same point with no connection to the Tatanagar side, which is on the Howradh-Mumbai trunk route.

Patnaik opined that while financial viability is an important consideration for sanctioning of new projects, it is certainly not the only consideration. On grounds of strategic reasons; provision of missing links; creation of alternate routes and greater social equity, Railways have always been sanctioning important projects, he added.

“As the projects highlighted above are missing links of the existing network and also are potential alternate routes, I once again request the Ministry of Railways to sanction the missing link project of ‘Bangiriposhi-Gorumahisani’ in Mayurbhanj, Odisha and ‘Buramara-Chakulia’ in Odisha and Jharkhand to provide the much needed connectivity,” wrote Patnaik in his letter.

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