Railways re-developing 36 stations in Odisha: Union Minister

Says railway allocation for state has been enhanced by almost 10 times

Published: 30th December 2022 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2022 07:41 AM   |  A+A-

Ashwini Vaishnaw

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw waving to crowd at foundation stone laying ceremony of Bhubaneswar railway station on Thursday | DEBADATTA MALLICK

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha is one of the priority states for Indian Railways which has taken up the upgradation and modernisation of its 36 railway stations in one go, Union Minister for Railways, Communication and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw said here on Wednesday.      

Laying the foundation stone for the re-development of Bhubaneswar railway station with Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Pralhad Joshi, he said railway allocation for the state has been enhanced by almost 10 times - from around Rs 800 crore in 2014 to Rs 10,000 crore now.  

Around 300 km of the rail line is being constructed in a year now instead of a mere 20 km to 30 km earlier, he said while announcing a new MEMU train for Bhadrak. As promised, the railway's minister said, the Jagannath circuit train on the lines of the Ramayan circuit will be launched next month to promote tourism and culture.

“Odisha has received Rs 5,600 crore this fiscal for the upgradation of telecom towers in the state. While unconnected villages will be provided with a 4G network, 5G services will be available in the state by January 26,” he also assured. The minister said the Bhubaneswar railway station will be world-class in the next two years and have a number of facilities with modern infrastructure and amenities.

As part of the project, an 11-storey building will come up on the Master Canteen side while a six-storey and a four-storey building will be constructed on the old station side. The revamped railway station will have wide entrances and exits, special parking arrangements, a lounge for travellers, 34 lifts, 20 escalators, 21 retiring rooms, a 150-bed dormitory, food courts and ATM kiosks besides standard waiting areas like those at airports.

Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan rebutted the Odisha government’s charge of central neglect stating that priority is being given to the development of railways in the state and the mining revenue has gone up from Rs 5,000 crore a year earlier to Rs 50,000 crore after the Narendra Modi government came to power in the Centre.

“Gone are the days when a House panel had to come to meet the railway minister to press demands before the Centre. Now the budgetary allocation is even more than the demand raised by the state. New railway lines are coming up, trains are being added regularly and station development was given priority,” he said.

The ministers also flagged off Puri-Jaleswar-Puri MEMU on the occasion. MPs Pratap Sarangi and Aparajita Sarangi and MLAs Ananta Narayan Jena and Suresh Routray were present. At another programme in Angul, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the 14 km Angul-Balaram new railway line and flagged off an express train between Sambalpur and Shalimar.


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