ROURKELA: Nine months after the intervention of the Orissa High Court, Bimlagarh-Talcher new rail line plan continues to move at a snail’s pace as there has been little progress on handing over of the balance land for the crucial project.
Incidentally, the efforts of Talcher-Bimlagarh rail line action committee to start work from Bimlagarh side in Sundargarh and early completion of the project received a setback after president Aditya Prasad Biswal and member Pravat Mishra succumbed to Covid.
Biswal was one of the petitioners who had filed a PIL in the HC in September last year seeking early land transfer for the project.
Committee member Bimal Bisi said the East Coast Railway (ECoR) on May 24 stated that the project is targeted to be completed by March, 2025 subject to handing over of the balance 610.495 acre private and 260.667 acre government land by March, 2022. It further said of the total length of 149.78 km, a stretch of 17.62 km from Talcher to Sunakhani was completed in January, 2020.
The next 16.30 km stretch between Sunakhani and Parabil will be completed by March, 2022. Against the revised project cost of Rs 1,928.07 crore, a total of Rs 1,497 crore has been sanctioned through 19 railway budgets and so far, Rs 874.89 crore has been spent.
Bisi said the ECoR’s reply is self-explanatory about the lack of any progress on the project. He claimed that ECoR has already deposited about Rs 300 crore with the State government towards land cost.
CITU’s national vice-president Bishnu Mohanty claimed that after the PIL was filed in HC, the district administrations of Angul, Deogarh and Sundargarh had shown some alacrity.
However, the project has been once again pushed to the back burner. The remaining petitioners would file an application in the HC for appropriate action on the project soon, he added.