post news network
Bhubaneswar, Feb 18: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has in a report stated that over `20,000 crore have been granted to Odisha in budgets over the last five years.
“Compared with 2009-14, Odisha received an average budget grant of `4,043 crore per year for railway infrastructure development during 2014-19,” the report says. The estimated amount increased 382 per cent compared with 2009-14, it claims.
According to the report, capital expenditure rose by 364 per cent in 2017-18 compared with 2013-14. In the Union budget 2018-19, `5,252 crore was allocated for development of railway infrastructure in the state and 36 projects costing `43,751 crore to develop 4,750 km of railway line are already under progress.
During 2014-18, 116 kilometres of new railway lines were laid compared with 98 km 2004-14. “The laying of new lines has gone up from 10 km per year in 2004-14 to 29 km per year in the last five years,” the report states. The Khurda road-Nayagarh town (66 km) and Jharsuguda-Sardega (50 km) lines are the latest projects.
In terms of line doubling, the railways have completed work on 330 kilometres in the last almost five years against 157 km in 2004-14. “Doubling work has gone up by 419 per cent in 2014-18 compared with 2004-14. Also, line doubling work increased from 16 km per year to 83 km per year,” the report says. According to data on track doubling, the Jharsuguda-Rengali (26 km), Delang-Puri (29 km), Sukinda Road-Jajpur, Keonjhar Road bypass line (11 km), Bimlagarh-Patasahi (8 km) of Champajharan-Bimlagarh (21 km) and Brajarajnagar-Lajkura (4 km), among others, were completed recently.
ECoR, the report says, introduced 38 new trains 2014-18 and extended services of six trains in the period. The Jeypore-Malkangiri line project is also set to be initiated. “At present Malkangiri has no rail connectivity. Therefore, the government has approved the 130 km Jeypore-Malkangiri line, which is to be completed by 2022. The project will cost an estimated `2,676 crore,” ECoR sources said.