BHUBANESWAR: CHIEF Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday requested the Railway Ministry to sign MoUs to begin work for the Jeypore-Malkangiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur new railway line projects. In a letter to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, the Chief Minister recalled a discussion he had with the former at Naveen Nivas here on April 16 where it was agreed to take up the railway line projects immediately as they had been included in this year’s pink book.
“You may recall that during our discussion at Naveen Nivas here, you had consented to take up these two important works immediately as they have been included in this year’s pink book,” he said and added, “Even though four months have passed since the railway budget announcement, no progress has been made because of non-formalisation of our offers through MoUs.” The Odisha Government and Railway Ministry are already executing 177 kms of the Khurda Road-Balangir new railway line project through a project specific MoU.
In this project, the State Government is bearing 50 per cent of the construction cost along with the land cost, he said. “Therefore, I request the Railway Ministry to immediately formalise our offers through two project specific MoUs similar to that of Khurda Road-Balangir project so that the land acquisition and other time consuming activities like construction of bridges can be started without further delay during the year,” he said. As these two projects are important to bring in development to the Left-wing extremist affected districts like Malkangiri and Nabarangpur, the State Government has already offered financial participation in construction of both the railway lines. For Jeypore-Malkangiri project, the State Government has offered to bear 25 per cent of the construction cost. Besides, for the Jeypore-Nabarangpur project, the Government has offered to bear 50 per cent of the cost. Land will be provided by the State Government free of cost to make the internal rate of return (IRR) for the projects attractive.