ROURKELA: In a big relief for Union Tribal Affairs Minister and BJP’s Sundargarh Lok Sabha candidate Jual Oram, former Rourkela MLA Dilip Ray seems to have eased his stance on the saffron party.Sources said Ray, till a few days back, was asking his supporters to ensure BJP’s defeat in the ensuing polls owing to lack of visible progress in construction of second bridge over Brahmani river on NH 143 and upgradation of RSP-run IGH into a super speciality hospital and medical college. Both the projects were announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2015.
However with the intervention of Prime Minister’s Office to expedite the projects, Ray has mellowed down considerably. The senior leader had on November 30, 2018 quit BJP and resigned from the membership of Odisha Legislative Assembly citing lack of visible progress in the two projects.
Thanking Prime Minister Modi he said,”I am intimated by the PMO that construction of super speciality hospital as part of IGH upgradation has been expedited.”
He said the revised estimated cost of the project is `294.82 crore. The former MLA said with the Centre’s intervention, the Ministry of Steel (MoS) and SAIL have handed over `98 crore to NBCC India Ltd and work is going on in full swing. He said on February 21, the MoS had transferred `105.95 crore to SAIL through SBI.
“Despite the inordinate delay, funds were received and work expedited. I thank the PM”, Ray said. Justifying his earlier stand on the issue, the senior leader said he had felt the pain and suffering of families who lost their near and dear in absence of timely critical and advanced health care.About the second Brahmani bridge and upgradation of the NH 143 from Birmitrapur to Barkote, Ray said he was assured by the PMO that in 2020-21 the project would be expedited and completed.
“The alacrity of the PMO over these two emotional issues is a huge relief for the people of Rourkela. I hope both the projects progress well and are completed on time,” he said.Ray said due to pathetic condition of the 335 km stretch of NH-143 between Rourkela and Bhubaneswar, ambulances take eight to nine hours against five hours and several critical patients die en route to better hospitals.
He said both the projects were his election promises. Earlier, in the day CM Naveen Patnaik had attacked the BJP over these two projects during election rallies in Sundargarh district.