BHUBANESWAR: Odisha has been allocated Rs 4,373 crore for different railway projects in the Union Budget for the 2020-21 fiscal. The allocation is around 27 per cent less than that of last fiscal when the State had received Rs 5,993 crore.While the total outlay for projects in the State in 2019-20 was Rs 4,593 crore, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) had invested Rs 1,400 crore in Jharsuguda-Barapali coal corridor project.
Only one new project has been introduced this time as the stress has been laid on completion of on-going projects that are stuck due to delay in land acquisition leading to cost overruns.The 241 km Sambalpur-Gopalpur line via Phulbani, to be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 2,957 crore though has received in-principle approval, awaits the approval of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and NITI Aayog. A token allotment of Rs 1 lakh has been made for the project.
Railway budget in last five years (in Rs crores)
Some of the old on-going projects that were longing for funds have been given priority as Khurda Road-Balangir line got Rs 520 crore against Rs 350 crore in 2019-20. Angul-Sukinda project was allotted Rs 450 crore against Rs 250 crore last year.Only Rs 100 crore has been provisioned for Haridaspur-Paradeep project as it is nearing completion and will be commissioned by March this year. The project was allotted Rs 400 crore last year.
Doubling of projects, especially Sambalpur-Talcher, Sambalpur-Titilagarh, Titilagarh-Rayagada and Titilagarh-Raipur besides electrification of Khurda Road-Balangir and Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh Road lines will be undertaken on priority basis.The Centre has allotted Rs 1,165 crore for construction of Road Over Bridges (ROBs) and Road Under Bridges (RUBs) to enhance safety and eliminate level crossings and Rs 20 crore for wagon repair workshop at Maneswar near Sambalpur.
27 pc dip in Rail budget for Odisha
The major projects which have received significant allotment include, 154-km Talcher-Bimlagarh line (Rs 140 crore), 189-km Kottavalasa-Koraput line (Rs 196 crore), Koraput-Singapur Road (Rs 201 crore), 110-km Jagadalpur-Koraput (Rs 130 crore) and 203-km Raipur-Titilagarh (Rs 146 crore).Similarly, Rs 382 crore has been allotted for doubling of 182-km Sambalpur-Titilagarh line, Rs 292 crore for 174-km Sambalpur-Talcher doubling, Rs 380 crore for 264-km Titilagarh-Vizianagaram third line, Rs 280 crore for 206-km Jharsuguda-Bilaspur fourth line, Rs 170 crore for Rourkela-Jharsuguda third line, Rs 205 crore for Budapank-Salegaon third and fourth lines and Rs 118 crore for Jarapada-Budapank third and fourth lines. Railway sources said while the total outlay for East Coast Railway (ECoR) is Rs 5,865 crore, Odisha’s share for projects is around Rs 4,373 crore.
“All major projects have got significant increase in allotment, which has been made on the basis of need of each project and requirement at site. Each project has been reviewed and amount allotted accordingly,” said an official. The railway allotment for the State had been on an upward spiral for the last few years. Odisha was allotted Rs 5,252 crore in 2018-19, Rs 5,102 crore in 2017-18, Rs 4,682 crore in 2016-17, Rs 3,712 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 1,421 crore in 2014-15.