BHUBANESWAR: For the first time in years, the Assembly Committee headed by the Speaker has not been constituted for pressing Odisha’s demands before the Centre even as the Railway Budget is to be presented on July 8.
The State’s neglect by the Centre in the railway sector was one of the main planks of the BJD and the party had launched many agitations in the past over the issue. But the silence of the BJD before the Railway Budget has surprised the Congress.
Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said the All-Party Committee on Railways headed by the Speaker is constituted in March during the Budget session along with other statutory committees of the House. But this time, the Committee has not been formed because of election, Mishra said and added that it would have been better had the All-Party Committee met the Prime Minister and the Railway Minister before the Budget. But the Committee cannot be constituted due to procedural difficulties, he said.
Senior BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy also maintained that the Committee cannot be formed as the Budget session of the Assembly is yet to be over. He, however, said the Centre had not taken any action on memorandum submitted by the All-Party Committee last year on Railway Budget. The Chief Minister has, however, written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda urging them to make adequate budgetary allocation for the development of railway infrastructure in the State. He has sought an allocation of `3,160 crore for Odisha in the 2014-15 Railway budget.
“I would request you to kindly ensure allocation of a sizeable part of the revenue generated from Odisha within the State itself for strengthening and expanding rail structure,” he said in the letter.
The Chief Minister said many ambitious projects of the Central Government like dedicated freight corridor aligned with mega industrial hubs, national road expressways and high speed train projects appeared to have completely bypassed Odisha although some of the country’s largest investments in steel, aluminium and power sectors were coming up in the State.
All Party Committee on Railway headed by the Speaker is constituted in March during the Budget session along with other statutory committees of the House
Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said the Committee has not been formed because of election
Senior BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy also maintained that the Committee cannot be formed as the Budget session of the Assembly is yet to be over