CM writes to the PM saying it is essential to support the investment received

Seeking strengthening of railway infrastructure to support huge investments received by Odisha in industrial sector, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday demanded a railway package to the tune of Rs. 3,160 crore for the State.

Mr. Patnaik wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying, “the volume of investments in the State in diverse sectors at different stages is in excess of a staggering Rs.8,85,000 crores.

Steps have been taken to create greenfield ports that shall be the country's gateway to international maritime trade for coastal shipping between the east and west coasts of India. It is expected that the growth in rail-borne traffic will be in excess of 300 MMTPA in the next five years.”

“A synchronised development plan between those of the ports and related rail connectivity is a necessity for maximising economic gains. In this context, the eastern dedicated freight corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni should be extended to Berhampur so as to ensure seamless movement of freight between the ports and the vast northern and central hinterlands of the country,” he noted. Mr. Patnaik also reiterated that the railway route length and rail density in Odisha was well below national average as also substantially lower than that in neighbouring States while in contrast, gross earnings originating from various stations in the Odisha was estimated to be in excess of Rs.14,000 crore during the year 2013-2014.

Moreover, Mr. Patnaik said, there is a large part of Odisha especially the backward regions which had remained untouched by the Railways. “The lack of infrastructure has been one of the major reasons which has impeded the socio-economic growth of this region.”

The projects demanded by the Chief Minister includes Bhadrachalam Road—Talcher rail link via Malkangiri, Jeypore, Lanjigarh, Sambalpur-Brahmapur new rail link via Phulbani and Rayagada-Gopalpur rail link via Bhismagiri assumes importance.