Will the Khurda Balangir railway project get any allocation in the Railway Budget?

February 26, 2011 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Following is from express buzz.com:

BALANGIR: Will the Khurda-Balangir railway project get any allocation in the Railway Budget? The project has been moving at a snail’s pace due to meager provision in the past Railway Budgets and delay in land acquisition.

The project was to be completed within five years from the date of approval but even a decade later, there has been no headway. Locals alleged step-motherly attitude of the Centre towards western Orissa and lack of will on the part of State Government to press for it. Connecting western Orissa directly with the eastern part, the project is touted to be a catalyst for economic development of the region.

Bengal-Nagpur railway division had conducted the first survey in 1945. The Planning Commission approved the project in 1993  and it received Presidential nod in 1994 with the cost estimated at Rs 383 crore. Since then the project has suffered a cost escalation due to inordinate delay in land acquisition that has gone up to Rs 1100 crore.The 350-km rail line from Khurda Road to Balangir will pass through 32 bridges including the longest one over river Tel, 403 minor bridges, 11 tunnels — the longest being 1400 meters, besides 124 level crossings and 17 stations.

Land acquisition sources said land in 13 out of the 16  villages on Balangir side have been acquired. Paucity of funds has however hampered land acquisition in the remaining three villages, said Ganeswar Kanhar, Land Acquisition Officer.In 2007, compensation for 64 acres of land was given in eight villages.

Since then only six more villages could be surveyed as the proposal for land acquisition was kept pending till the first quarter of 2010. While the civil work would be taken up only after acquisition of land for the 50 km track is complete,  till now nearly 35 km is yet to be acquired. Kanhar said 36 km of civil work has been started on  Khurda side.Koshal Kranti Dal leader Pramod Mishra said both the State and Central governments have been betraying people of the region. He questioned,  ‘‘if in 16 years the progress of the project is 16 km only, when will the government complete 350 km’’.

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Entry filed under: Balangir, Boudh, Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Kalahandi Balangir Koraput (KBK) region, Khurdha-Balangir rail line, Rail connectivity, Region watch, Subarnapur.

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