By BS Reporter
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has raised a strong protest with the Railways ministry for the latest cut of Rs 60 crore in rail projects to be implemented in Odisha.
Taking exception to the cut in allocations, Patnaik said such repeated reductions in budgetary allocation and that too thrice in a year, will greatly hamper the process of improving the rail connectivity in Odisha and lead to abnormal delay in the completion of railway projects.
“Indian Railways have recently reduced an additional amount of Rs 60 crore from the budgetary allocation of East Coast Railway (ECoR) including Rs 15 crore each from the major ongoing projects of Khurda Road to Bolangir and Talcher to Bimlagarh line and Rs 30 crore from the Talcher-Sambalpur doubling line”, Patnaik wrote to Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.
“I strongly protest against this unilateral reduction in the budget for Odisha for the third time during this year itself. I request you to take immediate steps for restoration of the original budgetary allocation made for Odisha for 2012-13”, the letter stated.
In June 2012, an amount of Rs 186 crore was reduced from the original allocation of Rs 723 crore provided in the budget for 2012-13. This is against projected total demand of Rs 2,345 crore for different projects in Odisha. Patnaik pointed out that while Odisha contributes Rs 7,500 crore annually to the Railways, it is a matter of regret that Rs 280 crore has been slashed from the paltry budgetary allocation.