Three new trains were announced for Odisha in the interim railway budget presented in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. The budget is for four months of the 2014-15 financial year prepared in view of the approaching general elections.
The new trains to operate under East Coast Railway (ECoR) jurisdiction are Puri-Gandhidham weekly express, Gunupur-Visakhapatnam and Sambalpur-Bhawanipatna daily passenger. Rail passengers from Odisha would also benefit from two other trains – Kamakhya-Chennai and Howrah-Yesvantpur (both AC weekly) – that will pass through the state, ECoR sources said here.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik described the provisions made for the state in the interim budget as ‘disappointing’. He said the state government had sought Rs 4,000 crore allocated for various projects and 31 new trains. He said keeping in mind fund constraints faced by the railways, the state government had volunteered to finance 50% and provide land free for Khurda-Balangir rail line. The government had also committed 26% share capital for two other major projects Haridaspur-Paradip and Angul-Sukinda rail lines. But interim budget is silent on these projects. There is also no mention for construction of modern Bhubaneswar railway station, wagon factory in Ganjam district announced three years back and also the project at Kalahandi, the chief minister said. “The Central government has once again given step-motherly treatment to the state when Odisha is giving over Rs 14,000 crore revenue per annum to the railways,” the chief minister said.
Railways source here said the budget being interim in nature, decision on fund allocation for major projects would be taken at the time of presentation of full budget in Parliament by the new government after the elections.