SAMBALPUR: The decision to shift Kerejanga railway station in Angul district from the administrative control of Sambalpur to Khurda railway division has sparked off resentment among local residents. Opposing the move, members of Sambalpur Rail Users’ Association on Thursday submitted a memorandum to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal through Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Pradeep Kumar. The association alleged that Railway Ministry shifted Kerejanga station to Khurda without citing any valid reason.
The members raised concern over Sambalpur railway division losing 25 per cent of its revenue due to the decision. Large industrial firms like Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and several others use Kerejanga station for transportation of their goods. Senior association member Subhas Panigrahi said, of the total annual revenue of around Rs 900-Rs 1,000 crore earned by Sambalpur railway division from goods transportation, 25 per cent was generated from Kerejanga.
As the station has been shifted, the revenue of Sambalpur division will be take a hit, thereby indirectly impacting its performance. The decision was taken despite the fact that Kerejanga station is closer to Sambalpur than Jatni in Khurda. Distance between Kerejanga and Sambalpur railway division office through rail route is only around 130 km. However, Khurda railway division office and Kerejanga station are located at a distance of around 200 km.
“We demand the government must cancel the decision and extend the jurisdiction of Sambalpur railway division up to Rourkela. Under Chakradharpur division, Rourkela is only 160 km away from Sambalpur,” Panigrahi said. DRM Kumar received the memorandum and assured that he would forward it to the appropriate authorities. Kerejanga station was shifted to the jurisdiction of Khurda railway division on February 15.