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Survey for Puri-Konark line over: Union Rly Min

The East Coast Railway had conducted the fresh preliminary engineering and traffic survey excluding the prohibitory areas of old alignments following Vaishnaw’s direction.

Published: 02nd December 2021 09:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2021 09:46 AM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The long-pending railway link between Puri and Konark, the two major tourist destinations of the State, may soon become a reality with the Centre initiating steps for finalising the project in consultation with the State government.

The Ministry of Railways has estimated the cost of the 33-km project at over Rs 725 crore following a fresh survey conducted recently to realign the proposed rail line. The new line will ensure the much-needed rail connectivity of the ‘Golden Triangle’ between Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark and boost tourism potential of the region.

In a written reply to an unstarred question by Lok Sabha member from Puri Pinaki Misra, Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said the survey for construction of Puri-Konark new rail line has been completed and cost of the project has been assessed as Rs 725.78 crore.

The survey report has been taken up for firming up the requirement and financial viability of the project including cost sharing with Odisha government, Vaishnaw informed the Parliament. Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had communicated to the Ministry of Railways about the State government’s decision of sharing 50 per cent of the project cost.

The shelved railway project was back on track following the intervention of the Railway Minister after Puri Vikash Parisad submitted a memorandum during his recent visit to the State requesting him to make budgetary provisions. The Forest and Environment department had objected to the project during its previous survey in 2015-16 as the proposed line passed through Balukhand-Konark wildlife sanctuary and coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) prohibited area prompting a fresh survey to explore feasibility of another alignment to avoid damage to the sanctuary.

The East Coast Railway had conducted the fresh preliminary engineering and traffic survey excluding the prohibitory areas of old alignments following Vaishnaw’s direction. The final survey report was submitted to the Railway Board on August 21 for further action.



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