Rourkela Development Forum (RDF) and Rourkela Rail Fanning Association (RRFA) demand for ECoR division HQ in Rourkela

December 9, 2010 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

Following report is from The Pioneer:

The members of Rourkela Development Forum (RDF) and Rourkela Rail Fanning Association (RRFA) have urged for creation of a new East Coast Railways (ECoR) division headquarters at Rourkela.

In a memorandum to the Union Railways Minister, the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister and other higher authorities of the Indian Railways, the members spelled that, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda and Kendujhargarh districts account for the heavy revenue generation under the Chakradharpur (CKP) Division of the South Eastern Railways (SER), but surprisingly, these areas are most uncared for in rail connectivity and amenities in comparison to other parts of the country.

Pertinent to note that, the mineral-rich Chhotanagpur Plateau region, popularly known as “Ruhr of India” due to its innumerable industries and mines, comprising the mineral rich Sundargarh, Kendujhargarh and Jharsuguda districts from where iron ore and other minerals are transported to all over the country.

Further, the region houses a number of heavy industries like Rourkela Steel Plant, OCL-Rajgangpur, Adhunik Metalliks, L&T-Kansbahal, Bhusan Steel and Power and Vedanta that pay huge revenue to the railways for transportation of raw materials as well as their finished products.

A lot of freight activities are noticed in this region and have made the CKP the highest revenue-generating division in the country a number of times.

Out of the total 741.705 km of route of CKP, 405.907 km is located in the State of Odisha covering about 50 stations out of the total 87 stations under CKP.

Only from Sundargarh district, it generates revenue to the tune of about `800 crore annually, which accounts for 40 per cent of the total revenue generated by CKP.

Similarly, Jharsuguda is an emerging industrial hub with a number of operating mega projects while a number of industries are in the offing. Kendujhargarh is also popular for its innumerous mines.

People here have high expectations from the Railway Budget every year, but it is alleged that most of the times they are dismayed.

The region, considered as one of the most backward pockets of the country with a gigantic tribal population, has been deprived of the basic railway infrastructure which is the biggest stumbling block in the development of the region.

Lack of proper communication facilities and infrastructure has also attributed to the increase in Naxalite activities in the region.

Less number of trains, poor maintenance of stations, uncared for on developmental activity, poor connectivity, zero railway projects and lack in proper healthcare are also bright examples about the apathetical attitude of the Railways for the region.

Even a number of times, many organisations from Rourkela have raised these vital issues with the SER authorities, but all in vain.

Every time due to natural calamity or any insurgent activity, Rourkela has to bear the brunt as trains are either cancelled or diverted as it has been happening for the last five months in case of the Utkal and Samaleswari Express with no alternative arrangements.

The Talcher-Bimalagarh railway route, which could have been a boon to the tribal districts of Sundargarh and Keonjhar and also provide connectivity to Coastal Odisha, is being disregarded since 1885 after the positive cost and benefit analysis.

Even, now the funding is much less for this project and the current rate will take more 20 years to be completed.

On the contrary, the ECoR has created a saga of success and development since its establishment in 2003. The rapid growth of the ECoR can be judged by its excellent maintenance of even its low class stations, they further added.

Currently Waltair (Visakhapatnam) Division of the ECoR is considered to be developed as a new railway zone, including the Andhra districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagram.

Hence, in the same justified manner, the Rourkela Division should be constituted with the Odisha districts of Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Jharsuguda, which will benefit more than 50 lakh people.

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Entry filed under: Infrastructure, Rail connectivity, Region watch, Sundergarh.

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