NABARANGPUR:The announcement of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to introduce Nabarangpur-Jeypore, Jeypore-Malkangiri and Junagarh-Ambaguda railway line projects has brought cheer for the people of Maoist-infested Nabarangpur district, which has been neglected by several governments in the past.
While the 130 km Jeypore-Malkangiri railway line will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1,277 crore, the 38 km Nabarangpur-Jeypore line will cost around Rs 485 crore. The cost estimated for the 145 km Junagarh-Ambaguda railway line via Nabarangpur is Rs 1,586.52 crore.
The State Government had offered to be a partner for the new railway line projects and last year it had signed an MoU with the Ministry to constitute a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementation of the proposed projects. The State Government had also agreed to bear 50 per cent construction cost and provide land free of cost for Nabarangpur-Jeypore rail line infrastructure and 25 per cent construction cost for Jeypore-Malkangiri rail line.
BJD MP from Nabarangpur Balabhadra Majhi said from Delhi, “Bringing rail connectivity to Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts has been a long-standing demand of the people of the district. He hoped that the preliminary work for the twin projects will start soon. Once the two districts figure in the railway map of the county, it will boost the tribal economy of the region, apart from easing the transportation problem of locals.
On the other hand, some expressed unhappiness with the Budget as neither any new train has been announced from Koraput to Bhubaneswar nor any existing train extended to the area.