Move to shift railway unit anti-Odisha, alleges BJD

A railway official clarified that the RE works in ECoR territory have been completed.

BHUBANESWAR: The decision of the Ministry of Railways to shift the office of Chief Project Director (CPD), Railway Electrification (RE) from Bhubaneswar to Bengaluru has evoked sharp reaction among different political parties, including the BJD.

Spokesperson of BJD, Sasmit Patra said BJP has always been against the development of Odisha as the Central Government led by the party has also struck a deadly blow by bifurcating portions of East Coast Railway (ECoR) and forming South Coast Railway (SCoR).

Strongly condemning the move, especially when the model code of conduct is in force, Patra said the shifting of RE office from the State to Karnataka exposes BJP’s anti-Odisha stand. The electrification work of railways will come to a standstill after the office is shifted. People of the State will suffer as the move will push the railways here to a greater degree of neglect and deprivation, he said.

Even as the saffron outfit is claiming that RE unit at Bhubaneswar was not able to work for which projects are diverted to Rail Vikash Nigam Limited (RVNL), the BJD alleged project offices in Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are being closed as those are ruled by non-BJP parties.

“The RE unit at Bhubaneswar carried out electrification works of 643 km from 2014 to 2018. It has received the best project award this year and got certificate from the Minister of Railways,” Patra clarified.
The Congress also criticised BJP for the move and warned that the party will make it an issue during the elections. Party spokesperson Satya Nayak said the RE unit here has an excellent track record. But, it is unfortunate that the BJP-led Government has decided to move it to Bengaluru to woo the voters of Karnataka, he said.

Protesting the decision to shift the unit, CPI (M) activists led by senior leader Janardan Pati staged a demonstration in front of RE office at Rail Vihar. Pati said it was an important unit among 15 units across the country and has successfully handled many electrification projects in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

“We will protest the anti-Odisha act of the BJP and take up the matter with Election Commission of India as the decision violates model code of conduct,” he added. A railway official clarified that the RE works in ECoR territory have been completed. New works like new lines and doubling will be executed along with electrification by the construction agencies including RVNL, IRCON and ECoR construction organisation, he said.

“The staff and officers of RE unit posted in Bhubaneswar will be enabled to continue till the current session ends. Thereafter they will be adjusted as per their choice,” he added.

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