Odisha: Jajpur Road – Dhamara Rail Line construction will be considered: Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw


New Delhi  : Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw assured consideration of the construction of a New Rail line between Jajpur Road and Dhamara via Jajpur town and Aradi. Shri Vaishnaw wanted the project to be included in the Port based priority scheme. Railway Minister was expressing his views before the 14 member high level delegation of multiparty platform Jajpur Road Dhamara Rail Path Sangram Samiti (JDRSS), who called on him today at Rail Bhawan. The Delegation submitted him a memorandum demanding immediate implementation of this long pending project. The Delegation had an in-depth deliberation with Railway minister about the economic viaibility of this new Rail line and impressed upon him regarding its profitability and public relevance. After undertaking an extensive technical review over the proposed project basing on the draft route map, Shri Vaishnaw instructed the expert members of Railway Board present during the meeting to take up the examination of the project and initiate positive steps for its implementation.

The members of the Delegation include The chairman of Sangram samiti Santosh Das, Former MP Ram Chandra Khuntia, Santosh Nanda, Padmakar Guru and Reeta Patra.

Earlier thousand of agitators from Odisha held a demonstration at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi yesterday demanding approval and implementation of this new rail line. The agitation was organised by JDRSS.
A meeting held at the venue of the Dharana was presided over by the Convenor of Sangram Samiti Santosh Das. Senior Leaders like Rama Chandra Khuntia, ex-MP, Saptagiri Ulaka, MP, Bhujabal Majhi, ex-MLA, Sarat Patnaik, President of Congress Party in Odisha, Dinesh Bhushan CPI’s central leader, Alikishore Patnaik, state unit Secretary of CPI(M), Santosh Nanda, Padmakar Guru, Dibyasingh Nayak, Radha Das, Malay Panda , Reeta Patra and Prafulla Nayak addressed the gathering. Others who spoke on the occasion include Saroj Biswal, Debendra Panda, Harish Panda, Ramakanta Sethi,Sagar Parida, Bijay Nayak, Chandra Sekhar Nayak, Khageswar Mallick, Dillip Das, Duryodhan Behera,Amulya Samal, Ananta Jena and Bibhuti Mohapatra.

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, they observed.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 approval of the project.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 Khetra and Baba Akhandalamani Dham into Railways map.

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