New Delhi: Thousand of agitators from Odisha held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi today demanding approval and implementation of the new rail line connecting Jajpur Road with Dhamara Port via Jajpur town and Aradi. A multi party popular Platform namely JAJPUR ROAD- DHAMARA RAILPATH SANGRAM SAMITI organised the agitation .
A meeting held at the venue of the Dharana was presided over by Santosh Das, the Convenor of the Sangram Samiti.Senior Leaders like Rama Chandra Khuntia, ex-MP, Saptagiri Ulaka, MP, Bhujabal Majhi, ex-MLA, Sarat Patnaik, President of the Congress Party in Odisha, Alikishore Patnaik, the state unit Secretary of CPI(M), Santosh Nanda, Padmakar Guru, Dibyasingh Nayak, Malay Panda and Prafulla Nayak addressed the gathering . The agitators alleged discrimination by Ministry of Railways towards Odisha. They questioned that While the project is quite profitable and genuine in nature with a proposed rate of return(ROR) of 27.43%, which is much higher than the minimum requirement of 10%, then why the proposal has been shelved by the authorities.
On the other hand during the last decade 41 numbers of projects having less ROR than Jajpur Road -Dhamara project have been approved by the Ministry with ulterior motives. Projects with zero ROR or negative ROR have also been considered for construction, the speakers alleged. The agitators asked why step motherly attitude being shown to Odisha , in spite of the fact that the State generates highest amount of revenue per annum. The Income of Railway from Odisha in the year 2022-23 has been calculated as of ₹30,000/- crore, they added. Later on A delegation of the Sangram Samiti met the Union Minister for Education , Entrepreneurship & Skill Development , Dharmendra Pradhan at his residence and presented him a memorandum demanding the project approval. In a statement, the Chairman of World Odisha Society Kishore Dwibedi Supported the demand observing that the proposed new line will greatly help in boosting up pilgrimage tourism, since it will bring two important shrines of Odisha like Maa Biraja Temple and Baba Akhandalamani Dham to Railways map.