ROURKELA: IN a glaring instance of wastage of resources, the multi-functional complex (MFC) completed recently at the non-descript Banspani railway station in Keonjhar district has no taker while the bulk revenue earning Rourkela junction was ignored. The Railways has drawn criticism for haphazardly setting up nine MFCs in the State.
Replying to questions of BJP MP Rita Tarai, Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha had on April 27 informed that the MFC at Banspani was completed while valuation for the MFC at Sambalpur was undertaken and alternative locations are being arranged for Balasore, Berhampur, Jharsuguda and Rayagada.
Similarly, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Talcher were identified for MFCs and since the functioning of the MFCs involved multiple exercises, including leasing/licensing to private parities, no specific time-frame was fixed to operate them, he had informed.
The Railway Board on March 30, 2013 had asked all the general managers of railway zones to ensure operation and management of the MFCs by the Commercial Department. Taking up the issue with the General Manager of South Eastern Railway (SER), social organisation Udbhava expressed anguish over not allotting MFC to Rourkela station despite its huge commercial feasibility.
Udbhava general secretary V P Tiwari said he is surprised at the selection of Banspani which is known only for loading iron ores. Passengers’ turnout is negligible there. The MFC at Banspani is now proving to be wasteful expenditure with no private party coming forward to run it. Rourkela junction is a bulk revenue contributor for SER, he said.
The concept of MFC is to house shops, food plaza/restaurants, ATMs, book stalls, pharmaceutical shops, variety stores and vehicle parking and ensure better services to passengers. Satyam Prakash of Chakradharpur Division said the MFC at Banspani was completed a couple of years ago, but it could not be operated with no private player evincing interest. He said that there is no proposal for MFC at Rourkela.