ROURKELA: The ruling BJD today started a sit-in near the Rourkela railway station to press for a host of demands, including creation of a new division at Rourkela under the East Coast Railway (ECoR). At present, Rourkela is coming under Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway (SER).
Rourkela unit BJD president Anand Chandra Mohanty said the stir would continue till Tuesday and reiterated the demand to paralyse transportation of minerals by trains from January 28 if their demands went unheeded.
The BJD leaders said the mineral-rich Sundargarh district has been a major revenue contributor to SER. But the district has been neglected for decades, they alleged and added creation of a new division under the ECoR can address the problems like lack of railway infrastructure and passenger amenities.
The other demands include immediate laying of Bimlagarh-Talcher rail link, setting up of a wagon/wheel factory at Bondamunda, introduction of direct train services to New Delhi, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanyakumari, Allahabad, Bangalore and Guwahati, running of a DMU/EMU train between mining regions of Kiruburu and Birmitrapur for the benefit of neglected tribal population in the Naxal-hit belts.
The BJD leaders made it clear that the Railways would no longer be allowed to earn huge revenue from the district and pump it elsewhere.
Among others, Rourkela municipality chairperson Rashmibala Mishra, vice-chairman RN Mishra, agitation convener Shailendra Marothia and former municipality chairman Kalandi Badajena were present.