Demands have emerged from Kandhamal district for railway link.
It may be noted that this district of Odisha is yet to be connected by railway track. Its inhabitants have to depend on Berhampur or Bhubaneswar railway stations for their transportation through rail service. Different organisations and citizens of the district have formed an organisation named ‘Kandhamal Rail Sangram Samity’ to strengthen their demand for railway link.
Sadasib Patra, a key activist of this organisation said although this demand for railway link is continuing from Kandhamal district since decades, successive governments have not shown much interest towards it.
According to him railway connectivity could become a major catalyst of development for this under developed region. Assistant standing counsel of East Coast Railway, Naren Barik, who is also in support of the demand said although railways is planning to invest around Rs. 2 lakh crore for development of infrastructure, the share of Odisha in it was not as desired.
The ‘Kandhamal Rail Sangram Samity’ has formed an advisory committee which included the MPs and MLAs of the area as well eminent personalities of different fields. Different organisation of the district including the district bar association and leaders of different political parties have extended their support to the demand of the organisation.
According to the inhabitants of Kandhamal district railway connectivity would increase tourism prospects of this virgin natural region. It would also increase market prospects of the forest and organic agricultural produce of tribal people and dalits of Kandhamal district.
The activists of the organisation proposed that railway link for Kandhamal district can materialise through two ways.
There should be new railway connectivity between Berhampur and Phulbani in Kandhamal district via Aska and Bhanjanagar, which till date have no railway connectivity. Apart from it a railway track from Phulbani can be connected to the proposed railway track between Khurda and Bolangir at Charichhak.
They have decided to put forward their demand before different forums and authorities. In coming days we may take up democratic agitation for the demand, said leaders of the organisations.