Protesting further reduction in the railway budget for State projects, the Biju Yuva Janata Dal on Saturday sent a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, requesting his intervention.
Submitting the memorandum to Governor MC Bhandare here, a delegation comprising BJD MLAs and leaders of the party’s frontal organisations slammed the Centre for its continued discrimination to Odisha.
The 60-member delegation led by Government Deputy Chief Whip Sanjay Dasburma explained to the Governor how the State was denied its legitimate due when the India Railways’ earning from the State is more than other states.
While the Railways annual income from the State is about Rs 10,000 crore, the Ministry had allocated Rs 723 crore as against a demand of Rs 2,345 crore for the current fiscal.
An Assembly committee headed by Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat had also met the Union Railway Minister before the Union budget and requested to accept the State Government’s demand in toto.
Much to the chagrin of the State, the Ministry slashed the State support by Rs 186 crore in June and another Rs 34 crore in September. The drastic reduction in the Central support to the State will seriously affect many critical projects like Khurda-Balangir, Lanjigarh-Junagarh, Haridaspur-Paradip, Angul-Duburi-Sukinda Road, Talcher-Bimala Road and Jaleswar-Digha rail rine, the memorandum said.
Earlier, the Planning Commission had remarked that the Centre has not given due share to a backward state like Odisha for development of railway infrastructure after independence.
The Governor assured the delegation that he would take up the matter with the President, Prime Minister and Union Railway Minister.
Demanding immediate restoration of the original budgetary allocation made for the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik last week dashed off a letter to Railway Minister CP Joshi. “I strongly protest against this unilateral reduction in the budget for Odisha. I request you to take immediate steps for restoration of the original budgetary allocation made for the State for 2012-13,” Naveen said in his letter to Joshi.
Government Chief Whip Pravat Tripathy, BP Agarwal, Amar Satpathy, Ramchandra Hansda, Pushpendra Singhdeo, Ashok Panda, Sarada Nayak, Pranab Das, Sanjib Pradhan, Arabinda Dhali, Bijay Mohanty, BYJD general secretary Bijay Nayak, Lopamudra Bauxipatra and Babu Singh were part of the delegation.