Former Railway Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee had informed the Parliament on 3 March 2011 of Government’s proposal to establish a Wagon Factory in Kalahandi; but despite so many months passing away, no step is taken in this regard.
Prof. Dr. Digambara Patra, presently with the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, a very active champion of Orissan interest, has reminded the present Railway Minister of his predecessor’s statement in a written memorandum and indicated that the Narla Road Railway Station in Kalahandi, which is directly connected to Bhilai, Rourkela and Vishakhapatnam steel plants, would be the most suitable location for the purpose. He has urged upon the Minister to execute the proposal on this location as thereby the backward district would get better avenues of development.
As we fully endorse Dr. Patra’s advice to Railway Ministry, we post below his mail to the Railway Minister:
Honorable Railway Minister Sri Trivedi,
CC:Honorable President of India, Smt Patil
Hornorable Prime Minister of India, Dr Singh
Honroable Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. Patnaik
Railway Board of India
Dear Honorable Sri Trivedi,
In the parliament discussion on Mrach 3, 2011, honorable former railway minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee has kindly announced to establish a Wagon Factory in Kalahandi if land is provided, which is evident from video recorded in the parliament.
In the railway budget 2010-11 hornoable railway minister Smt Banerjee in Feb 2010 had proposed one of the railway Wagon Factories in Bhubaneswar or Kalahandi. Kalahandi has plenty of Govt. and private land available near to the railway tracks. More than 100 to 500 acres of land near Narla road railway station in Kalahandi is available and is directly connected to Bhilai, Rourkela and Vishakhapatnam steel plants, where SAIL are established. I request you to immediately establish the Railway Wagon factory in Kalahandi.
Survey for Rajim – Debhog – Dharamgarh – Junagarh – Lanigarh road – Berhampur – Gopalpur railway lines should be given importance for the infrastructure development in this maoist and backward region. This line will make direct connection between Bhilai and Gopalpur via Raipur, Debhog, Lanjigarh road and Berhampur. The line will not only make direct connection between Berhampur and Raipur but also help in connecting Kalahandi and Debhog region with Raipur as well as Berhampur.
Survey for Damanjodi to Kesinga via Kashipur and Bhawanipatna is important because NALCO, Utkal Alumina and L&T are planning their aluminium plants in Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundergarh regions but their major mining interests are located around Kashipur, Thuamul Rampur, Dasmantpur and Damanjodi. A railway line connecting Damanjodi-Dasmantpur-Kashipur-Karlapat-Bhawanipatna-Kesinga will be of their interest to link their refineries and smelters cum Aluminium Parks in a shortest possible way. This will also bring Dasmantpur, Karlapat, Kashipur, Thuamul Rampur etc which are rich in minerals, one of the highest bauxites deposits in Asia, and known for their tourist opportunities to the railway map by creating infrastructure development in the backward pockets and making a win-win business opportunities for the Government, local people and mining companies, thus, such possibilities in KBKK region should be given high priority.
Kantabanji – Jeypore railway line is under survey and this line will connect Balangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Koraput districts and connect Khariar, Dharamagrh, Junagarh, Ampani, Nabarangpur and Koraput region directly with Raipur, Bhilai and Nagpur. The project is moving slow and construction of the line should immediately start.
It is also important to speed up the progress of under survey Lanjigarh road – Phulbani – Talcher line connecting Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Titilagarh (Balangir dist), Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts with Bhubaneswar by joining with Khurda-Balangir line near Puruna Cuttack (or Charichok). This will not only bring first time railway network to Kandhamal district but also make accessible to large part of inaccessible KBK and Kandhamal region from the state capital directly and help in countering maoist activities in the region. Beside that this line will facilitate alumina/coal transportation for NALCO from its refinery in Damajodi to its Smelter in Angul by reducing distance about 100 km.
KBK-Kandhamal is one of the most backward, tribal and naxallite affected pocket in the nation and above railway infrastructure and industrial development is key to its social and economic development. Therefore, Wagon Factory in the region and other railway requirement should be given highest priority. This is for your necessary and immediate action.
Thank you and best regards