New Delhi: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday assured the members of the House Committee for Railways of the Odisha Assembly that the Centre will sanction more funds only after the state government hands over the land to the Railways.
Talking to mediapersons after meeting the Railway Minister, chairperson of the Committee Surjya Narayan Patro said that the former had assured that there would no dearth of money for the development of the railway sector in Odisha. “The Railway Minister gave a list to the Committee on eight ongoing railway projects in the state and urged the state government to provide the land required for those. Once the state government hands over the land, the Centre will complete these projects at its own expenses,” Patro added.
Refuting the House Committee’s claim that the railway budget allocation for Odisha this year was Rs 1620 crore less as compared to last year’s budget, the Railway Ministry said that adequate zone-wise budget allocation had been made. “The Railway Minister assured more budget allocation if the Gopalpur-Sambalpur (via Phulbani) project is approved,” he said.
Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera, one of the members of the Committee, said that the they had submitted a list of new railway projects in Odisha to the Railway Minister and he assured to look into it.
Union MSME Minister Pratap Sarangi said the BJP-led NDA government’s allocation for the sector in Odisha in one year was equal to Congress-led UPA government’s five-year financial assistance. “Apart from the railway budget allocations, the Centre can also provide more allocations if the Odisha government hands over the land and submit utilization certificate to the Railways,” he pointed out.