Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has demanded that the state should be given more budgetary allocation in the upcoming Rail Budget for 2012-13, as the Railways get substantial amount of revenue from the state.
The Railways route length and rail density in the state is lower than national average and is also behind the neighboring states, while Indian Railways earned Rs 7,500 crore from the state in 2010-11.
I would request you to kindly ensure allocation of a sizeable part of the revenue generated from Orissa within the state itself for strengthening and expanding rail infrastructure, Patnaik said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It may be noted that a rail committee of the state assembly led by speaker Pradeep Amat had called on Railways minister Dinesh Trivedi and placed demand for Rs 2,300 crore in the ensuing Rail Budget.
In the past couple of years, the state has been able to attract investment in various sectors such as mining, steel and power and the investment amount could top Rs 8,85,000 crore. Hence, better rail connectivity on priority basis is needed to facilitate the setting up of upcoming industries, he argued.
The state also has plans to build around seven ports along its 500-km odd vast coastline to connect the state with several Southeast Asian nations. Patnaik urged the Prime Minister that a time-bound rail infrastructure upgradation proposal should be taken up by the Ministry of Railways.
A synchronized development plan between that pf ports and related rail connectivity is a necessity for maximizing economic gains, he wrote in the letter to the Prime Minister, while requesting him to extend the Ludhiana-Dankuni eastern dedicated freight corridor to Berhampur.
The state government also reiterated his demand that the rail department should expedite the process to build a world class station at Bhubaneswar.