Rourkela: Despite growing public demand for completion of the Talcher-Bimalagarh rail route at the earliest, only 14 per cent of the project work has been completed in the last 14 years, much to the disappointment of rail users, a report said.
Upset over the snail’s pace of the project work, members of Railway and Road Users’ Association Thursday submitted a memorandum to the new Union railway minister Piyush Goyal expressing the people’s resentment.
According to reports, the project had been announced in 2003 and work started accordingly. However, the pace of the project slowed down soon and as of now only 14 per cent of the work has been completed.
The South-eastern railway zone not giving much importance to the route is the main reason behind the delay, railway users alleged, demanding setting up of a special railway division at Rourkela seeking required attention for the zone.
Implementation of the pending projects can be accelerated with the establishment of the separate zone, they argued in their memorandum.
The members, in support of their demands, said with the commissioning of the Talcher-Bimalagarh railway line, the distance between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela would be reduced by 110 km. The Intercity Express can travel four times a day for the benefit of passengers, they said.
Besides, a rail corridor can be set up by joining Paradip Port with north India which would make import and export operations smooth from the port town, the memorandum said.
Pointing out to the alleged negligence of the railway authorities, the members said Jajpur Road-Keonjhar-Chakradharpur rail route was laid about a decade ago but not a single passenger train via Keonjhar plies on the route from Rourkela to northern Orissa, Paradip, Bhubaneswar and Puri.
President Debendra Narayan Pati and secretary Amulya Charan Baral of the association demanded earlier completion of the route and plying of passengers from Rourkela on the new route. PNN