Archive for the 'Odisha MPs' Category

With Congress and BJP down and out in Odisha splitting of BJD to two strong regional parties could be good for Odisha

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The Congress party in India is a party where the Gandhi family (especially, Sonia and Rahul) have too much power without much responsibility and that has been the major reason the UPA 2 government has floundered in many ways. Commenting on one such aspect, the indecisiveness of UPA2, Shekhar Gupta wrote: "The inherently indecisive style of this establishment is compounded by the fact that its administrative and political authority is so scattered — so scattered, in fact, that the buck has to make a dozen halts en route, like a DTC bus, before it finally stops with somebody." 

Alternatively, the BJP refuses to atone and clean up its tainted image and is yet to apologize for the Gujarat events in 2002 (unlike Congress which has apologized for the 1984 Sikh massacre in Delhi) and continues to stand behind Narendra Modi.

Fortunately, people in Odisha don’t like either and both Congress and BJP are down and out in Odisha.

As a result BJD and Naveen Patnaik have been governing Odisha for the last 12 years and in some sense going stronger. However, there have been many major shortcomings.

  • BJD has been in the opposition in the central government for the last 8 years and Odisha has had very little  representation in the central government.
  • Without a strong and credible opposition the Odisha government has been complacent in many spheres. They have done better than the previous governments but there has been a lot of missed opportunities.
  • The current government really has only one minister with influence, which is the CM.  The other ministers seem to be only for show and have no real decision making power.

The first two shortcomings can be addressed if BJD splits to two "strong" regional parties that can relegate the national parties of Congress and BJP to 3rd and 4th position in the state.

That way at any time one of the regional parties can team up with the coalition that runs the government at the center and make the case for Odisha from within the central govt. This would be better than what happened in the last 8 years where there has been zero (initial days of UPA 1) or only one minister in the central government from Odisha, and ZERO representation from Odisha in the central cabinet.

Tamil Nadu with DMK and AIDMK as the leading regional parties is a good example of regional parties having strong influence in the center. One or the other has been an ally of the center for a long time.

UP with SP and BSP as number 1 and 2 is somewhat similar though neither are part of the central government. But they extend support to the central government. Because of that SP now has strong influence on the government. Moreover, Ajit Singh from another small party is in the cabinet as the minister for Civil Aviation.

If one considers the CPI(M) in West Bengal to be a regional party (which it almost is) then West Bengal with TMC and CPI(M) relegate Congress and BJP out of the top 2. They have benefited by this approach as CPIM from West Bengal had a huge say in UPA1 (until the end) and TMC has 5-6 ministers in the current central government.

In Maharashtra the regional parties of NCP and Shiv Sena partner with Congress and BJP and thus lookout for Maharashtra’s interest.

The third shortcoming can also be addressed by the split in that the parties resulting from the split will provide opportunity for new emerging leaders and intellectuals to be part of these parties and force the BJD-Naveen to decentralize power.

In conclusion, it may be good for Odisha if BJD splits to two "strong" regional parties that can relegate the national parties of Congress and BJP to 3rd and 4th position in the state.

Ramachandra Guha: The Congress will have to get rid of family rule; I agree with it.

CENTER & ODISHA, Odisha Assembly, Odisha MLAs, Odisha MPs 2 Comments »

I agree with his view on Congress as well as BJP. Following are excerpts from an interview of Dr. Ramachandra Guha by Sheela Bhatt in rediff.

Some Congress leaders have mocked Hinduism, sometimes even Hindu civilisation while trying to attract the minorities.

Lots of people have this view of the Congress. I wish we had a political party to challenge the Congress. That would offer the people of India a wider vision of how this country should be built. But we don’t need polarising issues. Such criticism comes from people who have a polarised vision.

I come from Karnataka. In the last election, the BJP put up 224 candidates but not one Muslim. Almost 15 percent of the population of Karnataka is Muslim. So you are telling 15 percent of Karnataka you don’t count for us. Then how can you blame them for voting for the Congress? The BJP originally, said, ‘appeasement of none, recognition of all.’

But they never followed it. In Karnataka they attacked Christians after the Muslims in Gujarat. They had only one woman in the cabinet and she too has been sacked. So what message are they sending?

Is this the alternative to the Congress? The Congress can be a cynical manipulator. It plays one community against the other, okay, but, what are you offering that is better?

Do you think in the coming decades the BJP will form a national challenge to the Congress?

I don’t think so. It has fallen back to the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). I think it’s possible that in 20 or 30 years time we may see a new political formation. It is possible a middle-class formation which is not captive of one family or one religion or one caste may emerge.

The BJP had a great chance to become a national party, but it has lost it. During Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s time, even at the time of the last election they had a chance to grow, but they always go back to the RSS.

When the Jaswant Singh crisis happened, (former deputy prime minister and then Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha) L K Advani went to see (RSS chief) Mohan Bhagwat who is head of a social-cultural organisation.

Who will trust the BJP as a young and modern party?

After reading the Congress’s history so well are you surprised by the way in which Sonia Gandhi has taken control of the party in the last ten years? Are you surprised to see the way she has grown and established herself?

I think she is a person of great determination. She has worked very hard. In the revival of the Congress she has been central. But there is a negative side also.

I see that a culture of chamchagiri (sycophancy) has flourished under her. There is a darbari (court) culture, there are chamchas around her. That is not healthy for any democracy.

That is not healthy for the Congress. It is not healthy for India that you have a situation where the prime minister has to come through the Rajya Sabha. He is totally dependent on her. He can not make Cabinet appointments without her approval. I think, there are problems. There are problems in the ways the Congress is run today.

Do you think its basic ideals remain strong today?

I don’t know. I can only say about the Congress is that it is not as bad as its alternatives. It is less bad. You cannot say it’s a healthy, democratic, well-functioning political party.

Look at world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. How did she come to the top? In democracies political parties have to be open, transparent and secular institutions where anyone can enter. When they put in hard work and talent they can rise.

Look at how Barack Obama and Merkel came up. In the Congress, unless you are close to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi you will not progress. This is well established. We should know that the culture of sycophancy is undemocratic and foreign to the Congress culture. For 80 years the Congress did not function in this way.

Congressmen think that without the Gandhi family they will disintegrate.

Maybe they should have a process of churning and they should rediscover themselves. I can’t say that it’s a happy situation. Because, it amounts to feudalism and it’s not democracy. It is similar to a monarchy where Sonia Gandhi is the queen and Rahul Gandhi is the rajkumar (prince). That is not democratic.

Mamata assures that the first phase of Khurda Rd-Balangir rail will be finished in March 2011: Dharitri

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MP Kalikesh Singh Deo’s interview: his plans for Bolangir

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The following links were found from http://kalikesh.com/videogallery.html. In it the interviewer mentions about visible efforts to make the roads in Bolangir good. Kalikesh talks about improving the physical infrastructure. He mentions the state government efforts regarding developing a tourism circuit around Harishankar. He mentions the medicinal plants, but does not mention the name "Gandhamardan." (He should consider developing a campaign around the name "Gandhamardan" as that word is familiar to people across India.) He mentions a state government allotment of 5 crores for development of a complex in Harishankar and building an ayurvedic college. He mentions the food craft institute.

Oisha BJD MPs meet Mamata Banerjee on Khurda-Balangir line: Dharitri

Khurda Rd - Balangir (under constr.), Odisha MPs 5 Comments »

Manmohan Singh has been generous to Patnaik’s demands of late?

CENTER & ODISHA, Demanding equitable treatment, Elections 2009, Key Center-State issues, Odisha govt. action, Odisha MPs 2 Comments »

Following are excerpts from an article in Telegraph.

Congress managers have launched an operation to manage the numbers in the Lok Sabha after the political flux caused by the women’s reservation bill.

The government is working on two tiers to build a cushion in case the BJP tries to push the UPA to the wall with the support of the Samajwadi Party, the BSP, the RJD and the Left. …

… The Congress is also in touch with the Biju Janata Dal for a “limited understanding” in parliamentary proceedings even as the two parties oppose each other in Orissa. There is a unity of purpose — fighting Maoists and clearing development projects — and Manmohan Singh has been generous to Patnaik’s demands of late.

As the current term of the government progresses the UPA will be needing BJD’s help. The Orissa CM and BJD MPs must be ready to forcefully ask the fulfillment of some of Odisha’s important or longstanding demands. But no demand for a "special category state" please.

MP Pyari Mohapatra bats for Khurda-Balangir line in Rajya Sabha

Khurda Rd - Balangir (under constr.), Odisha MPs 6 Comments »

Orissa MPs raise various issues in the parliament

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Many of them raised various Railways related issue. MPs Bhakta Das and Sanjay Bhoi raised the issue about a medical college and a national university in Bhawanipatna. Following are news items from Dharitri and Samaja on this.

Following is an op-ed piece from Samaja on the Railways issue.

Modern Terminal Market Coming up in Sambalpur; MP Amarnath Pradhan claims credit

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Following is from Samaja.

The second article above says that the central government agreed to this terminal market due to Mr. Amarnath Pradhan’s proposal. I am not sure how true this is as the following call came out in 2008.

Kudos to MP Srikant Jena for getting 51 crores for the Balasore plastic cluster

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Kudos to MP Bhakta Das for getting 188 crores allocated for Kalahandi and Nuapada highways: Samaja

Kalahandi, NH 201 (310 Kms: Boriguma - Bhawanipatna - Balangir - Bargarh), NH 217 (438 Kms: Chhattisgarh Border - Khariar Rd - Nuapada - Khariar - Titlagarh - Ramapur - Baligurha - Asika - Brahmapur - Gopalpur), Nuapada, Odisha MPs, State highways 2 Comments »

Orissa needs to better spent its NREGS and Indira Awas allocation

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Following is from Samaja. Its unacceptable that Orissa only spent 650 crores out of the allocated 1100 crores for NREGS during 2008-2009. The unspent money could have built half of Khurda-Balangir line. The Orissa government needs to do a better job at spending this money.

Memberships of Orissa MPs in various parliamentary committees: From Dharitri

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The complete list of committees is at http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/Committees/depcomp.aspx.


Following is the membership list of Orissa MPs in various standing committees. The list is extracted from the Dharitri news report below:

  • Labor: Hemanand Biswal, Chair of the committee (equivalent in rank to a minister of state); Renubala Pradhan, Rudra Pany
  • Finance: Bhakta Charan Das, B. Mahtab
  • Information Technology: Tathagat Satpathy
  • Defense: Prasanna Patsani, Amarnath Pradhan
  • Commerce: Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo
  • Industry: Arjun Sethi, Pyari Mohan Mohapatra
  • Science, Technology, Environment and Forests: Jayram Pangi, Bibhu Tarai, Bhagirathi Majhi
  • Health and Family Welfare: Radhakant Nayak, Balbir Punj
  • Energy: Nitaynada Pradhan, Rama Chandra Khuntia
  • Foreign Affairs: Pradeep Majhi, Pinaki Mishra
  • Food and Consumer affairs: Laxman Tudu
  • Railways: Rudramadhav Rai, Suhshila Tiria
  • Urban development: Baijayant Panda
  • Rural Development: Siddhant Mohapatra
  • Coal and Steel: Sanjay Bhoi, Yashvant Laguri, Kishore Mohanty
  • Social Justice and Empowerment: Mohan Jena

Following are some committees that do not have any representation from Orissa.

  • Home
  • HRD
  • Agriculture
  • Law

MP Baijayant Panda’s speech when initiating his Underdeveloped and Backward areas and regions Bill 2009

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Following is from http://164.100.24.207/synopsis/15/II/Synopsis-17-07-2009.pdf. Thanks to http://twitter.com/mensrightsindia for the link.

 

PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL UNDERDEVELOPED AND BACKWARD AREAS AND REGIONS (SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR ACCELERATED DEVELOPMENT) BILL, 2009

SHRI BAIJAYANT PANDA Initiating, said:

The Indian Constitution is one of the most widely lauded documents of its nature anywhere in the world. The Indian Constitution recognizes every citizen as equal irrespective of caste, creed, religious background and many other criteria, the fact remains that hundreds of millions of our fellow citizens are not equal, because of no fault of theirs. It is true that barriers of caste, barriers of religion affect many Indian citizens but the fact remains that one of the biggest predictors of the disadvantaged in our country is simply an accident of birth and that can be related to the region that they are born in. I have here with me a map which indicates the income patterns of various regions of various States in our country. When you look at the regions that are disadvantaged, you recognize that not a small proportion but rather a significant proportion of our population is disadvantaged simply by virtue of having been born in these regions and not having the same opportunities as the other Indian citizens have in other parts of the country. It is also obvious that it is these disadvantaged regions which are the breeding grounds of disaffection, naxalism and extremist movement. If we are to tackle these problems which challenge the India nation, our approach has to focus on the developmental requirements of these regions, particularly these backward regions which have been left behind.

It is a matter of national shame that 62 years after we gained Independence, there is such an imbalance. Because of our economic growth of the last decade and a half, we are being talked about as an economic super power in the making. But the fact remains that any super power status that is conferred upon us by the rest of the world is going to be marred if such a large percentage of our population, such sections of our geography are going to be left behind. As regards the official Below Poverty Lines statistics, my own home State of Orissa has a Below Poverty Line percentage of population of more than 45 per cent. The State of Bihar has more than 42 per cent of the people falling into this category of Below Poverty Line people. The state of Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim have 37 and 35 per cent of their people falling in this category. By some criteria and by some estimates, as many as 800 million people in India can be defined as poor by an Independent yardstick. But even if we just stick to the official definition, even if we just stick to official statistics, it is clear that we need to do an enormous amount of work to ensure that this regional disparity does not continue. Often we are given a picture that the Centre’s job is to legislate, is to plan, is to even accord financial help, but the actual job of implementation is the States. We recognize that, but national responsibility cannot be declined. The ultimate responsibility for the country’s performance is of the Central Government. Large chunks of our population from these regions actually hold the Centre responsible for their predicament. The Central decision of imposing a command economy on the country cost us very dearly in certain parts of the country. States like Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal have a certain advantage, a natural economic advantage, having mineral wealth. This should have led to the natural situation that investment in those industries should have come to those States and they should have benefited from it. It did not happen. So, the Central Government do bear a responsibility for making sure that these parts of our country are helped, are given a helping hand to be brought up. Orissa has immense mineral potential. But for 50 years, it was held back. Everywhere in the world mineral royalties have been based on a principle known as ad valorem. But in India, the royalties were not ad valorem till recently. Now gradually they have started becoming so with still a few exceptions left. The disaffection that my fellow citizens feel in Orissa, in Bihar, in Chhattisgarh, and in all these States is but natural, is but justified. I would like to make a mention about the Railways. State of Orissa has one of the lowest railway network in the country, whereas our neighbouring States have the highest percentage of rail track in the country. If this is not discrimination, then tell me what discrimination is. I would like to mention that some of these States like Bihar and Orissa have, for decades, been asking for a special category status. But it has not been accorded. It is left to the State Government alone to take up the burden of development in these areas, which is simply not justified. An unbiased look needs to be taken. Certain changes in policy have to be made. We should take development to each and every village otherwise there is no way we can make the case that we should all live in harmony. I would like to point out that there are many pioneering efforts. At the national level itself, there is, of course, the Planning Commission. But the net result is that such large parts of the country are still neglected. I am not criticizing the Planning Commission. I am just saying that for a country of this size, things cannot be that centralized. They need to be decentralized. There should be a National Authority headed by the Prime Minster himself to deal with all the areas, which fall into this category. I hope, I would get the support of the Government in bringing about such a legislation so that these areas of lack of development can be attended to, otherwise, I put it to this House that these areas would get left behind for longer.

This is a beautiful speech.

MP Baijayant Panda has introduced several private bills in the parliament; a great step

Odisha MPs 1 Comment »

MP Baijayant Panda has introduced several private bills in the parliament. This is a great step.

It is time Orissa leaders, including its CM, get smarter and move away from repeating slogans and demands which have been repeated so much that they now have zero or negative effect on the PM, GOI or national leaders. Here I am referring to the slogans and demands such as: "Step-motherly attitude of the center towards Orissa", "Special category state status for Orissa", etc. Even though there is a basis behind these demands and slogans their effectiveness has worn out and they should not be mouthed for some time now.

Instead the approach taken by MP Jay Panda is the right way to go. Broaden Orissa’s concerns to a regional or a national concern. That way there is much higher chance of the right people paying attention to it and doing something about it.

In this regard the following private bills that were introduced by Jay Panda are a  great step. The bills are:

  • Underdeveloped and Backward Areas and Regions (Special Provisions for Accelerated Development) Bill, 2009

a Bill to provide for the establishment of an autonomous central Authority to ensure rapid, accelerated and overall development of poor, underdeveloped and backward areas and regions of the country which lag behind in matters of development of infrastructure in economic, social, educational, technical and industrial fields and assure their speedy development in a planned manner and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

  • Persons Affected by Naxalite Terrorism (Relief and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2009

a Bill to provide for relief, compensation and rehabilitation measures through employment and other means for the persons affected by naxalites or maoist terrorism in various parts of the country and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

  • Citizens Affected by Cyclone, Super Cyclone or Tsunami in Coastal Areas (Compensation, Rehabilitation and Welfare Bill, 2009

a Bill to provide for the protection of citizens living in coastal areas affected by cyclone or super cyclone or tsunami or any other natural calamity in the coastal areas of the country by providing adequate compensation, rehabilitation and welfare measures and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

  • Prevention of Unsolicited Telephonic Calls and Protection of Privacy Bill, 2009

a Bill to prohibit unsolicited telephone calls by business promoters or individuals to persons not desirous of receiving such calls and for the protection of individual privacy of citizens and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

Dharitri group picture of BJD MPs

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The pictures of the winners in Orissa assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies: Dharitri

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Two MPs from Orissa among the top 5 opposition MPs (TOI)

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Following is an excerpt from that report in TOI.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, Cuttack

His almost self-effacing manner masks a diligent and perceptive mind. He is careful to back his claims by statistics and expert opinion. His reference to facts and detail indicate his reading and makes him a sharp critic of the government. He is an active member of the finance committee and has been one of the regular speakers in the House.

Kharabela Swain, Balasore


There is nothing subtle about his style, but he can be unsettling for the government. Blessed with boundless confidence, he does not shy of taking on ministers and is prepared to hold up reams of statistics and newspaper articles to back his arguments. Ministers are wary of the energetic MP with a bull terrier attitude.

Following is a nice article about Mr. Kharabela Swain from The Sunday Indian.

“No MP named Swain stays here,” the security guard said, stunning us when we asked for Kharabela Swain’s residence. “Actually, no one knows me in this locality. You have to ask for Kalpana Parida’s home to find me!” Swain later told us when we finally traced him. “Sometimes even security guards stop me from entering my wife’s house.” He never applied for a government accommodation, nor has he bought a house in Bhuvaneshwar. “Whenever I come to the capital, I stay in Kalpana’s flat. She is working with Doordarshan and lives here with our only son,” clarified Swain.

Named after Orissa’s legendary ancient king Mahameghabahana Aira Kharabela, Swain, a powerful BJP politician maintains a very low profile. And his entering politics says it all. In 1988, this 1980-batch Indian Allied Services Officer quit his cushy job to join politics. “I was fed-up with the corruption and opportunism of politicians. People feel that good and honest persons can’t survive in politics. I wanted to prove them wrong. I believe in that old economic aphorism – good money drives out bad money from the market. So will it be in politics.” Kharabela’s stature as a highly articulate and active parliamentarian cuts across party lines. He always takes centre-stage in all major national debates. He is exceptionally popular in his constituency. In the last election, Kharabela polled a massive 553,087 votes and defeated his rival by 236,955 votes. And why not? During the floods last year, the first man to reach the remotest areas was their MP, not any sort of government agency.

‘My capital is people’s affection, which is much more valuable than a bungalow, car or money. I could have achieved all that, but that is not my philosophy,” says he. And bribes ever offered? “Yes, but only in my initial days as a parliamentarian. Today, everybody knows what I do. Kalpana manages all our expenses. My son has got a job through campus selection. So for what will I pile up money?”

But then, how many politicians ask that question?

Kharabela Swain, MP from Orissa, has the guts to point out Lalu Yadav’s partiality

Odisha MPs, Railway network in Odisha, Railways 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from a the Lok Sabha transcript of 20th October 2008.

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN (BALASORE): What he has done? He has taken one railway factory to his constituency, another factory to his wife’s constituency, and the third one to the UPA Chairperson’s constituency. … (Interruptions) We are nowhere.  Shall we be eligible to get any rail factory any time in life? … (Interruptions) People say that now-a-days jobs are being given in the Railways by taking land from them. … (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please go to your seat. Let the Minister reply. I will give him time.

… (Interruptions)

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN (BALASORE): Even now the Ministers in the Government are becoming Ministers by giving land in this country. … (Interruptions)

1707 hours

(At this stage, Shri Ram Kripal Yadav and some other hon. Members

 came and stood near the Table.)

… (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: If you do not go, I have no other way but to adjourn the House. If you want me to adjourn the House, then I will adjourn it.

… (Interruptions)

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN (BALASORE): It is because of this only. … (Interruptions) This is happening and nothing else. I strongly object to what is being done by the Railways. … (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Please go to your seats. If you do not go, I have no other way but to adjourn the House.

          The House stands adjourned to meet tomorrow, the 21st October, 2008 at 11 a.m.

One wonder if Lalu Yadav is the Minister of Railways for India or the Minister of Railways for UPA or the Minister of Railways for Bihar?

Keonjhar-Puri train to start towards the end of June: Samaja

ECOR, Keonjhar, Odisha MPs, Railway Budget 2008, Samaja (in Odia) 13 Comments »

Orissa MPs’ statements in the LokSabha on the Railway budget

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Statements were made by B. Mahtab, B. Panda, Braja K Tripathy,  Arjun Sethi, Prasanna Patsani, Ananta Nayak and Kharabela Swain.  They asked for all kinds of things. I wish they had prioritized and focused on 2-3 things, namely Khurda-Balangir, Lanjigarh Rd – Junagarh – Jeypore – Malkangiri and Baripada – Bangiriposi – Buramara on the basis of connecting to tribal and naxal infested hinterlands. Following is the transcript from http://164.100.24.209/newls/textofdebatedetail.aspx?sdate=03/10/2008.

*SHRI B. MAHTAB (CUTTACK) : Respected Sir, I stand here today to deliberate on the Railway Budget 2008-09 which has received both laurels and brickbats from the thinking public. At the outset I must mention that the Railway Minister’s opening remarks about a cash surplus of Rs 25,000 crore before dividend is clearly a meaningless figure. The surplus after payment of all dues, including dividend, to the general exchequer is only Rs 13,534 crore. This is what can be invested. This is Mr Lalu Prasadji’s fifth consecutive Rail Budget. This years Railway Budget reads like a wish list for the Indian Railways. Announcements like capacity bulding of high density network, port connectivity, freight corriders, stainless steel wagons, higher axle loads etc. on the freight side are praiseworthy and in the passenger sector, use of stainless coaches, green toilets, improved passenger infromation systems and facilities, reduction of fares etc. will please many no doubt, yet there is cause for concern too. The pronouncements do not match the deeds. The budget is an occasion to review the progress of important projects. Apart from the DFC, mega projects like the wheel factory at Chhapra, Electric Loco Factory at Madhepura, the coach unit at RaeBareilly and the Diesel Loco Factory have yet to take off. A new coach factory in Kerala has been added to this list now. The list of sanctioned railway projects of maybe more than Rs 75,000 crore is now a serious worry since more get added each year with painfully slow completion. The production units of Indian Railway loco works at Chittaranjan, Varanasi, coach units at Chennai and Kapurthala, wheel factory at Bengaluru can be made into international hubs supplying to railway system worldwide with more capital investment and new technology. But very little has been said on this. The minister had announced a possible corporatisation of Rail Coach Factory Kapurthala in the 2006-07 budget. What progress has been done in this direction?

 

 

* Laid on the Table.



           Budget 2007-08 had spoken of pre-feasibility studies for high speed train corridors which do not find any mention this year. I hope the idea has not been abandoned as such links will bring economic development around important cities as it has taken place in other countries. But the Railway Minister has demonstrated lack of vision. I fail to under the logic of growth rate of 8% by the Railways when the entire economy is growing at a rate of 8.5% to 9%. The cash surplus figures, which I have stated earlier in just bunkum. If the Railways has a cash surplus of Rs 25000 crore then what was the need for seeking budgetary support from the Union Finance Ministry? What one should understand is how much is the quantum of investible surplus.

There are a lot of anomolies when one goes into the details of this years Railway Budget. The freight loading may be taken as an example. The freight loading target of 850 million tonnes is marginally less than the 8 percent growth rate target of 858 million tonnes projected for the Ninth Plan by the Railways. How can one say there is progress?

Similarly an adhoc provision of Rs 5000 crore for expenditure arising from anticipated recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission would appear to be less than the 30 percent increase experienced at the time of implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission recommendation. It can only be hoped that this figure will not be wide of the mark. The allotment of only Rs 600 crore for bridges, as compared to Rs 700 crore for Road over Bridge / Road under Bridges seem inadequate when one takes into consideration that a large number of bridges even now require attention, being more than 100 years old and particularly considering the increased axle loads being permitted or proposed to be introduced. Higher levels of Overloading are taking place now. I am sure the Government is aware about the Railway study made recently on the South Eastern sector which has revealed that the extent of overloading has gone up significantly after the axle load was increased to 22.9 tonnes from 20.32 tonnes. We are all aware that South Eastern Railway deals primarily with iron ore traffic. Earlies, that is, before 2005, wagons were overloaded to the extent of 24-25 tonnes per axle most of the time, However, in 2006 and 2007, when Railways allowed higher levels (22.9 tonnes) of axle load, wagons were over loaded at 28-29 tonnes and even 30 tonnes per axle at times. Excess loads damages the rail tracks and wheels resulting in faster wear and tear. For Railways, which uses the same tracks to such passenger trains this has emerged as a major concern as damaged rails could even result in accidents if not detected on time, apart from higher maintenance costs.

In the past four years, Indian Railways transported an additional 233 million tonnes of originating freight traffic and in the next four years, it proposes to handle an additional 310 mt. How it is going to be achieved? It is not clear from the Budget for 2008-09. What has been presented in the Budget are some sign posts; not a clear road map. The freight traffic growth of the Railways has been steadily dwindling. For the past few years, the Railways has been transporting on an average an additional 60mt every year. The fallout of it is that the Railways continue to lose its market share to other modes of transportation. Nothing substantial has been done to meet this challenge.

I now come to another unpleasant issue. There was no crying demand for bringing the fares down, certainly not from those who travelled AC First, AC Sleeper or AC Chair Car. They would not have minded if the Railway Minister had maintained the status quo for they choose the higher classes of their own volition, only after making sure that they can afford it. The fare reduction of those classes are not also such as to attract significantly more passengers. Similarly, the tinkering with freight reduction too will have only a marginal effect on prices, if at all. There is no specific assurance in the Budget speech that so many new trains will not cause serious traffic congestion and affect the quality and regularity of track maintenance and that they will not compromise safety consideration. New passenger trains also eat into the time and space for movement of goods train which are not only the chief bread winner of the system but also keep the sinew’s of the economy strong. Any operational decision that slows them down will have a cascading effect in the sense of pulling down the volume and velocity of transactions in all resorts. For these reasons, the Traffic wing of the Railway Board had always been opposed to excessive number of new passenger trains.

This year Fifty-three new trains have been announced on a saturated system, without making provision to improve the infrastructure. Speed of trains is the other aspect which needs deliberation. On a high-density network, accounting for nearly one-third of the coun­try’s total rail network of 66,000 km, the coverage speed of passenger train is 55 km and goods train 20 km. Even Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express run at an average speed of 75 km. The Fastest passenger train is Shatabdi Express between Bhopal and Kanpur with an average speed of 140 km. Isn’t this well below the speed of fast trains the Railway Minister vowed to introduce after visiting countries where such trains operate? There are some unanswered questions even today. Why is the average turnaround time of wagons are still so high despite slashing of the free time and like in demurrage? Why are more diesel locomotives proposed to be acquired despite the announcement to go for electrification of more routes?

It is good to know that issues such as port connectivity and elbowing of lines will receive a good deal of attention. But then one couldn’t be sure of the outcome of such an initiative if the issue is left of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd to handle. There are instances where the port connectivity and doubling projects have made little progress because RVNL is not convinced of their viability. The real problems facing the Railways are an acute con­gestion on certain busy freight routes and chronic shortage of locomotives. These prob­lems have not been addressed in the Budget.



Railways Minister proposes to upgrade infrastructure at an estimated investment of Rs 75,000 crore in the next seven years. Where is the money going to come from ? If the Railways wants bigger private participation, it will perhaps have to take a re-look at its present public- private partnership model. Correct policies to attract private investments are needed. Sadly, the Rail Budget lacks such policy initiatives. What has happened to the dedicated rail freight corridor? We have been hearing about this corroder for the past three years. Prime Minister had laid the foundation stone for this project way back in September/ October 2006 in Mumbai and Ludhiana. Has a single brick been laid so far ? We have been hearing about the plans to convert New Delhi Station into a world-class station. But nothing has been done so far to execute this project. If this pace of work continues, can we expect the work to be completed before the Commonwealth Games?

Railways Minister has made a number of announcements relating to new trains, low­ering the train fare etc On a careful study, one finds that a number of New trains can only ply after around 7 to 8 years because tracks are not there and in many places gauge conversion is necessary, which may take years. I wll give one example which is very glaring. It is announcement of running a new passenger train from Hajipur to Phulberia. This Phulberia is a wellknown place because of the Railways Minister. But a passenger train can only ply after new track is laid. Can it be done in the ensuing financial year? Will this passenger train ply in 2008-09? I leave it to your wisdom. Similarly there are a dozen of new trains that are announced by Railway Minister which can ply only after tracks are converted from Narrow gauze to Broad Gauze.

Next is the most interesting part relating to lowering the passenger fare. A general impression amongst the public is that henceforward train fare will become cheaper. But is it so? This fare reduction has come with certain conditions. It is applicable only on Sleeper Class, AC Chair Car and 3 Tier where the reduction will be 2 percent provided the passengers travel in the newly designed high capacity compartments. I tried to find out what are these high capacity compartments. Today, normal Sleeper Class compartments have 72 Berths, the high capacity will have 84. AC 3 Tier has 64 and it will be enhanced to 72. AC chair car has 67 and it will increase to 102. Railways Minister has announced that new compartments are being manufactured. Those which have been sent for repair, will also come, he has said. But from close quarters of Rail Bhawan, it is learnt that, at present only 225 newly designed high capacity compartments are available. It will take not less than 7 to 8 years to convert all compartments to high capacity. Should we believe that the passengers have to wait till then?

The other announcement is relating to reduction of ticket-fare in some "popular" trains during peak hour. There are nearly 1600 Mail and Express trains plying in our country out of which 400 are considered, "Popular", I do not know in what category. It is very cumber­some to implement this, no doubt, but the general impression has been created through the Budget speech that train fare has been slashed though it is seasonal. Very strange are the ways of the Railways Minister. Strange indeed!

At its juncture I must raise certain issues for the considerable of the Railway Minister. It relates to Freedom Fighters. Since 70s, Freedom Fighters are provided with free rail travel pass for which Ministry of Home Affairs had deposited the money. The number of Freedom Fighters are quite less today in comparison to that of 70s or 80s. I have been appealing time and again that the restriction of travel in Super Fast Trains like Shatabdi, Jana Shatabdi and Rajdhani should go. They are old and infirm and very few of them actually travel. Why can’t you provide them a little comfort. They donot seek priority in reservation. Allow them these superfast train travel only when vacancy is available.



I take this opportunity to reiterate again that for the speedy development of infrastruc­ture in Orissa, Indian Railways should provide a package which includes allocation of funds for ongoing projects, sanction of new lines, introduction of new trains, extension and increase in frequency of mail/ express trains, and improve passenger amenities. There is an urgent need to complete Daitary-Banspani BG rail link and introduce coaching services in this sector. Rail link costruction work between Bhawanipatna to Junagarh should start immediately. There is a demand to extend Naupada-Gunupur BG rail link to Thiruvali which would enable increase in cargo generation at Gopalpur port. Two projects, such as Khurda Road-Bolangir and Haridaspur-Paradeep proposed rail link is progress­ing at a very slow pace. In these new rail lines the rate of return is high, yet I fail to under­stand why Railway is not allocating funds for completion of these two projects in a time bound manner.

The survey report of Talcher-Gopalpur Broad gauze rail-link is before the Ministry which has indicated a favourable rate of return. The recent thrust of industrialisation in Orissa with setting up of Steel, Power and Aluminium Plants would require a dedicated railway link between Talcher to Gopalpur for export and import of raw materials and finished products. However, I must thank Railway Minister for starting 4 new trains and increasing the frequency of Rajdhani Express. The new train connecting Allahabad to Sambalpur was a long pending demand which has been adhered to. I would urge upon the Minister to con­sider starting a new Express train from Paradeep to Mumbai which would connect the east-coast to the western shores of our country. In this Budget, attempt has been made to recognise the problem of unmanned level crossing and congestion at busy level crossing which needs Road over bridge. Two such Road overbridge are essential in and around Cuttack now. One at Gopalpur and another at Kapilash Road-Tangi. Necessary steps may be taken to include these two projects in this years Budget.

As large parts of Orissa are being developed by East Coast Zone, the functioning of this Zone is of great interest to us. It was after long fight that this zone was created. Our impression was that it would be full fledged by now in its 10 years of existence. But that is not so. I will give you instances. In 2007-08, Sambalpur-Titlagarh and Titlagarh-Raipur Doubling project was listed. Asian Development Bank was supposed to finance this Rs.1680 cr project. Last year provision of Rs.10 Crore was made. The technical survey and de­tailed estimate was done by East Coast Railway and after that tender was floated. The area comes under East Coast Railway Zone. But Railway Vikash Nigam didn’t entrust these job to the project implementation unit of East Coast Railways but was given one to Kolkata and another to Bilashpur Project implementation unit. Why this has been done? There has been cost escalation of high order. Almost double the amount of the project cost. Will the Minister look into it? Also appraise us the reason why the jobs were taken away from East Coast Zone.

Before I conclude, I must say that Railway Minister’s performance as the Railway Minister in the past five years has been impressive in the sense that he presented five budgets in a row, all surpluses and has succeeded in projecting Indian Railways as one of the high performers. But would it not also be in order to have a performance assessment of how many of the promises made in the earlier Budgets have actually been delivered upon. What needs to be remembered is that, despite impressive strides in recent years on the financial and safety fronts, when compared to major world railways, the Indian Railways has a very long way to go in terms of quality of service and productivity. There are tremendous challenges to be overcome. Therefore, there is no room for compla­cency or misplaced munificence.

 (ends)

 



1402 hours

*SHRI BRAHMANANDA PANDA (JAGATSINGHPUR): Hon’ble Speaker Sir, I  thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak on the Railway Budget of 2008-2009.  The Railway Budget is like a milestone in the progress of a nation.  It’s a reflection on the unity, integrity and diversity of our huge country.  Railway is the unifying force in this country.

          This House has witnessed discussions regarding the welfare of our population, especially of the deprived section the labours, the farmers and the working class.  Everybody cutting across party lines expresses sympathy, but sometimes it remains a mere lip service.

          Sir, India is a land of diversity with many languages, religions, castes and creeds.  I come for the holy land of Lord Jagannath who is a symbol of secularism.  He had a devotee named Salabega who was a muslim and a devotee named ‘Dasia’ who was from the Dalit community.  In this context sir, when I rise to speak my heart pines for my people.  Wheneven any national leader visit my state they all highlight the poverty, squalour and the deprivation of my people.  Orissa is famous as a backward, poverty-stricken state.

          In the recent past Orissa has had some distinguished visitors like Mr. Sharad Pawar etc. Now Mr. Rahul Gandhi is on a tour to Orissa. He has expressed his anguish after witnessing the deprived state of Orissa’s poor-the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe community.  The sincerity of his sympathies is doubtful.

          Sir, you are a leader of the proletariat class and you stand for the interest of the proletariat class.  Hence I believe you will empathise with me and allow me to point out the flaws in the Railway Budget.  Sir, as far as safety and security of the passengers  are concerned, very  little  has  been  done  in this  regard.  A  Railway

 

*Original in Oriya.

 

passenger is subjected to loot, dacoity, accident as well as terrorism.  A person traveling by train is unsure of reaching his destination.  Hon’ble Railway Minister is speaking of modernization.  But I must provide a secured environment for railway passengers.  I applaud his steps which are taken to extend facilities to women and senior citizens.  I also hope that he will look at Orissa with a benevolent eye. Orissa is a backward state but not a poor state.  It is a beautiful land filled with natural resources,  minnerals, verdant forests and has a long coast line of 480 Kms. Visitors to Orissa get spellbound with the beauty of this land.  That is why our Chief Minister has written a letter to the Hon’ble Railway Minister to pay attention to the demands of Orissa, so that the Railway map of Orissa will change.  Orissa is now a favourite destination of industrial groups like POSCO, Arcellor Mittal and Vedanta etc.  Orissa needs to make giant strides to catch up with other states. Hence development of Railway infrastructure is very vital to the progress of Orissa.

MR. CHAIRMAN (SHRI VARKALA RADHAKRISHNAN): Hon. Member, please conclude now.

SHRI BRAHMANANDA PANDA (JAGATSINGHPUR): Sir, you must give me a considerable amount of time… (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: That is what I have told you.  Or, somebody else may have to come here; I cannot be here.

SHRI BRAHMANANDA PANDA (JAGATSINGHPUR): In that case, I am not going to speak anything.

MR. CHAIRMAN:  Please conclude.

SHRI BRAHMANANDA PANDA (JAGATSINGHPUR): Mr. Chairman, Sir, you must allow me   a considerable amount of time to speak.



MR. CHAIRMAN:  You can give the remaining portion of your speech, in writing.  You may write any number of pages, and place it on the Table; it will be taken as recorded.

SHRI BRAHMANANDA PANDA (JAGATSINGHPUR): Sir, this is not fair. When I am here to speak   about my State, I should be allowed to speak.

MR. CHAIRMAN:  Whatever idea you have about the Railways, you may write an essay or even a book; you may place it on the Table; and it would be considered as recorded.  Please understand that we have time constraint.

SHRI BRAHMANANDA PANDA (JAGATSINGHPUR): Then, why these people are allowed to speak in the House. … (Interruptions) That is why Orissa has become a backward State.  I am here to speak about my State of Orissa.… (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN:  Even in the evening you would not be here, but I will have to be here till midnight.

          You may continue your speech. Try to conclude as early as possible.

*SHRI BRAHMANANDA PANDA (JAGATSINGHPUR) :          Sir, there are many projects which has been sanctioned by the Central Government but work is

yet to start.  There are some projects which remain unfinished  due to dearth of funds. With a  financial allocation the work can be completed.  The Langigarh and Junagarh railway line needs to be completed.  Members of the House Committee of Orissa Legislative Assembly and Chief Minister had met Hon’ble Railway Minister regarding this division.

          Likewise there is the Khurda road and Bolargir railway line which remains pending from a long time.  This is a tribal dominant area.  The people remain backward due to regional imbalance and negligence by the Central Government.  They remain cut off  from  the  mainstream.  That  is why ‘Naxalism’ is on the rise

 

 

*Original in Oriya.

here.  Repeatedly we have demanded in this August House that the Khurda-Bolargir Railway Project work should be speeded up but the vain. The Central Government in unnecessarily delaying the release of fund.  Similarly we have many on going projects like the Haridaspur-Paradeep railway line, Angul-Duburi railway line, Sukinda-Tarcher-Bimlagarh line, Rupsa-Bangiriposi and Nuapada-Gunupur  railway  line etc. which  await allocation of funds.  People of these areas are now indulging in Naxalism and Maoism etc.  There are also some railway projects where doubling and electrification of railway line is very essential like Daitari-Banspani railway line, Talcher-Sambalpur, Haridaspur-Paradeep railway line Koraput-Rayagada, Sambalpu-Talcher etc.  There are many projects which awaits survey.  We draw the attention of the Railway Minister to ensure an early survey.

          We demand introduction of new trains from Bhubaneswar to Koraput, from Jeypur to Malkangiri, from Bargarh-Nuapada, Berhampur, Phulbhani to Puri-Konark..

          Sir, the Konark temple is a world famous architectural marvel.  Gurudev Ravidra Nath Tagore had described as poetry on stone.  This beautiful place will attract more tourists if well-connected by Railway.  Sir Phulbani is a district of tribals.  Even after 60 years of independence the people of this area remain untouched by Railway.  They have neither seen a train nor a railway track.  Its is a very sad commentary on the state of affairs today. 

Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Railway Minister to introduce some new super fast trains which will connect Orissa to New Delhi.  In Orissa there are trains without pantry-car facility for example the Heerakhand Exp, which plys between Bhubaneswar and Koraput.  Tribal districts of Orissa should be well-connected to New Delhi.

          Now I will speak about my own constituency, Jagatsinghpur which houses the famous Paradeep port.  It’s a milestone in our nation’s economic progress. It is the deepest natural port in the east coast.  Paradeep port earns revenue for the country.  However the full potential of this port is not being properly exploited because the doubling of railway bridge over river Mahanadi has not been done yet. Again Sir my constituency houses the shrine of Goddess Maa Sarala who is compared to Mata Vaishno Devi. But the place has no railway connectivity and hence tourists face difficulty.  The trains which ply between Paradeep to Bhubaneswar may be further extended to Puri. Sir we have been demanding for a long time  that Rajdhani Exp. should ply between Bhubaneswar and New Delhi on a daily basis.  That has not happened. Sir, I would like to draw you attention to Junagarh-  Ambaguda railway line and Kantabanjhi-Jeypur railway line which should be laid via Khariar and Nawarangpur.  Sir there areas have predominantly tribal population.  Laying down of railway lines will integrate them to the mainstream.  Our Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik dreams of a economically strong vibrant and progressive Orissa.  His dreams can only be fulfilled if the Central Government and the Ministry of Railway in particular lends a helping hand. Funds should be provided to expedite the on-going projects.  The financial aid should come in a time-bound manner so that the projects can see the light of the day.  Sir I would conclude with a poem which was recited by Gopabandhu Das which describing the beauty of lake Chilka……

          “O’  train do stop here for a moment,

          I want to enjoy the splendour of a,

          Painting called Chilka”.

          Sir, I thank you for allowing me to speak on the Railway Budget.

Jai Jagannatha.

(ends)

*SHRI BRAJA KISHORE TRIPATHY (PURI): I bring to the kind notice of Hon’ble Minister of Railways through you for allotment of additional funds for Orissa in the budget for expediting the ongoing Railway project in the State and inclusion of new projects in the Railway Budget 2008-2009 which have not been covered in the present Budget.

Hon’ble Speaker Sir, as in the past, Orissa which is ranked much below the national average in the Railway Map of India, has been discriminated upon and also neglected in the allotment of funds in the present Railway Budget even though the East Coast Railway and portion of South Eastern Railway which pass through the state of Orissa are measure revenue earners for the Indian Railway. This is an unbalanced Budget which has not catered to the need of regional requirement and prospective Railway expanding Zone. Whereas captive thermal power plant have been proposed in the state off Bihar, new coach factory in Kerala, Wagon reconstruction in 6arkha in Chapra Distt of Bihar, allotment of Rs.200 crore for modernisation of railway workshop in West Bengal and allotment of Rs.80 crore at Jamalpur, no new project worth substance has been introduced in Orissa. No allotment has been made for the introduction of new projects in Orissa.

I thank through you to the Hon’ble Railway Minister for introducing a Garib Rath from Ranchi to Bhubaneswar in the last Railway Budget but Sir, this is not sufficient. I would request through you to the Hon’ble Railway Minister for more Trains from Puri-Bhubaneswar to New Delhi and Mumbai in the greater public interest.

Electrification:

Hon’ble Speaker Sir, in the present Railway Budget no provision has been made for Rail Line Electrification in Orissa whereas during 11th Five Year Plan proposal for Electrification of 3500 kms of Railway Line has been made. During last Railway Budget 2007-08, I had requested through you to Hon’ble Railway Minister for allotment of Rs. 100/- crore for the Electrification of the feeder links viz*. Daitari-Banspani B.G. Link, Talcher-Sambalpur-Jharsuguda B.G. Link and Haridaspur-Paradeep B.G. Link. However, sufficient funds have

 

* Laid on the Table.



not been allotted in the present Budget also. I would also request to the Hon’ble Railway Minister through you for allotment of sufficient funds for these projects and alongwith, Koraput-Rayagarh electrification project may be sanctioned in the Railway Budget-2008-09. Against the demand for electrification of Khargpur-Nimapura-Bhubaneswar and Bhubaneswar-Kottavelasha (RVNL) only Rupess^2 crore and^l crore has been sanctioned respectively in the Budget 2007-08 against the demand for Rupees 50 crore. Hence, the allotment may be increased to 50 crore in the Budget 2008-09.

Gauge Conversion

Hon’ble Speaker Sir, I would request through you to Hon’ble Railway Minister to increase the amount for expediting the gauge conversion from Rupsa to Bangiriposi which is very important as it was envisaged as an alternate to 3rd line between Kharagpur and Tatanagar and made into 2 phases, the first phase a gauge conversion of Rpusa-Bangiriposi and phase-2 connecting Bangiriposi with either Gorumahisani or Dollbhumgarh, which will subsequently connect to Tatanagar thereby reducing substantial distance. The allotment may be increased as the sanctioned amount of Rs.40/- crore is not sufficient for this project. Nuapara-Gunupur route gauge conversion may be expedited and extension to be made upto Therubali and also sanction is needed to provide connectivity to Gopalpur Port. Allotment of Rs.10.41 crore in the present Budget 2008-09 is not sufficient and I would request Hon’ble Railway Minister through you for increase this amount to Rs.75/- crore. Although broad gauge line of 2300 kms will be completed during 2007-08 and 3500 during 2008-09, no substantial allotment has been made for the state of Orissa.

On Going New Lines

Hon’ble Speaker Sir, Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh B.G. Rail Link:-Sir, this project was sanctioned in the year 1993-94. Rs.100 crores was demanded for commissioning the section between Lanjigarh Road-Bhawanipatana and commencement of land acquisition from Bhawanipatana to Junagarh. The Govt, of Orissa had demanded Rs.120/- crore for the project, however only Rs. 34/- crore has been allotted in the present Budge which may be increased to Rs.75/- crore.



Haridaspur-Paradip B.G. Link‘-Hon’ble Speaker Sir, only Rs.80/- crores has been allotted in the present Budget for Haridaspur-Paradip B.G. Link in the Budget, however the state Govt, had demanded Rs.175/- crore. I would request the Hon’ble Railway Minister through you that the allotment may be increased to Rs.175/- crore.

Khurda Road-Bolongir B.G. Link:-Hon’ble Speaker Sir, only Rs.32.43/- crore has been allotted in the present Budget whereas the state Govt, had demanded

Rs.150/- crore.   I would request the Hon’ble Railway Minister through you that the allotment may be increased to Rs.150/- crore.

Angul-Dubri-Sukinda Road B.G. Link: This Project was sanctioned in the year 1997-98. This rail link is critical for the steel industries since it will be a feeder link for transportation of coal to the industries in the Dubri area and iron ore to the industries in the districts of Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Jharsuguda. The allotment of Rs.60/- crore is meager and may be increased to Rs.150/- crore.

Talcher-BimlaqQrh (154 KmsVThis Project has been sanctioned in the year 2004-05. The state Govt, had demanded Rs.75/- crore whereas Rs.10/- has been allotted. I would request the Hon’ble Railway Minister through you that the allotment may be increased to Rs.75/- crore.

Doubling of Existing Railway Lines: Hon’ble Speaker Sir, I request the Hon’ble Railway Minister through you for provisioning adequate funds for doubling of various Railway links in the state of Orissa. Particularly, I request the Hon’ble Railway Minister through you to increase the allotment for Doubling of Khurda Road-Puri Railway Line from Rs.2/- crore to Rs.50/- crore including the sanction of second phase work for which survey work was sanctioned in the last Budget 2007-08 . This railway line is more then 100 years old and eight years of first phase work for doubling should be expedited in view of the importance of Puri as an international Tourism point.



Hon’ble Speaker Sir, I request through you to Hon’ble Railway Minister to include the following proposals for survey for new lines in the Budge of 2008-09 :-

Conversion & Extension of Nuapada-Gunupur B.G. Rail Link to Theruvali (79 Kms.)

a. Traffic survey was made in March, 1999 for extension of the converted Nuapada-Gunupur B.G. Rail Link to Theruvali with a favourable rate of return. This extension will immensely benefit flow of import and export of cargo via-Gopalpur Port.

 b.         Jeypore-Malkangiri (117 Kms.).

This broad-gauge rail link for which a survey report has been submitted to Ministry of Railways forms a part of the most backward districts of Orissa i.e. KBK area, which has been accorded special status by Government of India for speedy development. This requires immediate implementation.

c.         Talcher-Gopalpur (245 Kms)

The survey report of Talcher-Gopalpur Broad-gauge Rail Link line submitted to Ministry of Railways indicated a favourable rate of return. The recent thrust of industrialization with setting up a of Steel, Power and Aluminum Plants would require a dedicated Railway link between Talcher to Gopalpur (Special Economic Zone) for export and import of raw material and finished products.

d)         Bargarh-Nuapada-Vio-Padmapur (120 Kms):

Survey for this Broad-gauge Rail link was completed with a viable rate of return 18.32% and report submitted to the Ministry of Railways. Rail infrastructure in Western Orissa is not developed adequately despite a large number of industries are existing and heavy production of food grains are achieved. This B.G. Rail link will traverse through acutely backward areas of the State, and will ensure economic development.

e)      Puri-Konark (35 Kms.) : Puri attracts thousands of pilgrims due to temple of
Lord Jagannath. The famous Sun Temple is located at Konark. This monument
is famous throughout the world and thronged by visitors from domestic and
abroad. Considering these a survey was completed for construction of New
B.G. Rail Link between Puri-konark in the year 1997. This link will facilitate
visits by the tourists and pilgrims to the last link of the golden triangle.

For Bargarh-Nuapada-Via-Padmapur (120 Kms) and Puri-Konark (35 Kms.) though for detailed survey has been announced in principle , r\o steps have been taken in this regard so far for sanction and construction and now also no funds have been allocated in the Current Budget for these two projects. Hence necessary sanction may be accorded for these projects in the Budge of 2008-09

 (f)      Gopalpur-Rayaqada (282 Kms) :

all Bauxite deposits are located in Rayagada and Kalahandi area. Recently, Government of Orissa has signed number of Memorandums of understanding (MOU) for setting up of Aluminium industries for production of Alumina and Aluminium. Sanction for a survey is imperative to cater to the traffic that will be generated.

(g)      Jaleswar-Digha (40 Kms):

Digha is a popular beach resort, which will be connected from Tamluk. It is necessary that a survey be sanctioned from Jaleswar to Digha a stretch of 40 Kms. so that the vast areas in Bhogarai and Jaleswar Block can be connected. Although this project has been announced, no funds have been allocated so far.

(h)     Jajpur Keonjhar Road-Jajpur (30 Kms.):

Biraja Khetra at jajpur Town is a famous place of Piligrimage in India at Par with Dwaraka and Kasi. A large number of pilgrims visit this area regularly. The Ministry of Railways is requested to sanction a survey for extension of the East Coast Railway line from Jajpur-Keonjhar Road to Jajpur.

(i)      Sorumahisani To Buramara (35 Kms.)

Work is in progress for gauge conversion of Rupsa-Bangiriposi N.G. Rail Link. A survey may be sanctioned for linking Gorumahisani on Tata-Badamapahar B.6. Rail Link to Buramara on Rupsa-Bangiriposi Rail Link.

(j)      Badampahar To Keonjhar (70 Kms.)

A survey needs to be sanctioned between Badamapahar to keonjhar which shall link the rich iron ore area with Tatanagar.

(k)      Sambalpur-Berhampur via Birmaharajpur (408 Kms.)

Presently a direct rail link from Western to Southern Orissa is not available. Transportation of goods and passengers have to move in a circuitous way via Raipur-Vizainagaram or the East Coast Rail Link.

 (I)      Bolanqir-Nawapara (159 Kms.)

Bolangir and Nawapara are extremely backward district of Orissa, covered under the KBK districts, which has been accorded special status by Government of India. Availability of Railway infrastructure shall lead to economic growth.

(m)     Banspani-Bimlaqarh (80 Kms.)

Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts are iron ore hub of Orissa. With rapid industrialization a network of railway links shall cater to the transportation requirement of that area.

(n)      Berhampur to Phulbani (169.8 Kms.)

A preliminary Engineering-Cum Traffic Survey was conducted in 2003. Phulbani is one of the extremely backward districts of Orissa, though endowed with large deposits of Granite, Graphite, Quartz, Manganese and Bauxite. Sanction of requisite funds may be made for commencement and completion the project.

The following extension and introduction of New Trains may be introduced.

Hon’ble Speaker Sir, I would like to thank the Hon’ble Railway Minister through you for extension and introduction of New Trains, viz, Bhubaneswar-Mumbai vida Sambalpur (bi-weekly), Puri-Darabhangha Express (Weekly), Paradeep-Bhubaneswar Express (Daily in lieu of Parradeep-Cuttack Passenger), Kendujhargarh-Puri Express (Daily). However, the Paradeep -Bhubaneswar Express may be extended upto Puri considering it as a Pilgrimage Centre.

The following introduction and extension of trains requires attention :

Super-fast Express from Sambalpur to Allahabad:

There is no direct train from Sambalpur to Allahabad in order to meet the growing demand of traffic from Western Orissa. To enable the people of Western Orissa to Visit important places of pilgrimage like Allhabad, the extended train No.8611/8612 may be further extended upto Allhabad.

 

Inter City Express between Koraput and Rourkela Via-Rayagada.

The Raipur-Vizianagram-Koraput-Kirandul B.G. rail link passes through the most backward areas of the State like Koraput-Bolangir and Sundargarh. An Inter City Express linking Rourkela with these areas of this State will give the much needed impetus for business and commerce of the area.

Express Train from Titilagarh to Puri, Via-Sambalpur:

Presently there is no direct train from Titilagarh area to cater the needs of Western Orissa. Introduction of Express Train on this route will provide relief to the people and also ensure emotional, social integration with costal Orissa.

Express Train from Visakhapatnam to Howrah-Titilagarh, Raipur & Bilaspur:

The area from Visakhapatnam to Titlagarh is backward and requires additional train services to ensure increase of commerce and trading with neighboring States.

New Puri-Hyderabad Express and and New Puri-Chennai Express

There is no direct Train Link from pilgrim centre of Puri famous for Lord Jagannath to South India. Two direct trains from Puri-Hyaderabad and Puri-Chennai will fabulously benefit pilgrims of South India and people of Puri and Orissa.

Express Train between Baripada and Visakhapatnam Via Balasore,  Bhubaneswar and Berhampur.

Baripada the district Headquarters of Mayurbhanj is now connected on the Board gauge system of Indian Railways. It is necessary to provide a direct link with Southern Orissa as of the Passenger amenities.

Express Train from Gandhidham to Puri.

Orissa continues to provide human resources for industries in Gujurat. A large number of Oriyas are working in various part of Gujrat. An express train may be provided from Puri to Gandhidham via Vizainagram.



Express Train from Keonjhar to Howrah

Keonjhar district has been connected in the Daitari-Banspani BG Rail link. A large number of the tribal population shall use the direct link for trade and commerce.

Super-fast Express from Puri-Jaipur:

There is no direct train service from Puri Orissa) to pink city of Jaipur (Rajasthan). Introduction of a Train Services from Puri-Jaipur, Via-Sambalpur, and Raipur will enable tourists and pilgrims from Central and Western India to come to Orissa and this service will immensely benefit people of western Orissa.

Express Train from Barbil to Vishakapatnam via-Kenojhor & Bhubaneswar

The BG rail link between Banspani-Daitari is expected to be commissioned very soon. Keonjhar and Jajpur districts are undergoing rapid industrialization. Introduction of a train from Barbil to Vishakapatnam will facilitate movement of passengers and shall also be used for trade and commerce.

Express Train from Baripada to Howrah

Narrow gauge section between Rupsa to Baripada has been converted and commissioned. In order to strengthen the traditional link of the people of Mayurbhanj district with West Bengal and meet the aspirations of the people of that district, Ministry of Railways is requested for introduction of an express train from Baripada to Howrah.

Intercity Express Between Jharsuguda and Bhubaneswar

The industrial scenario is fast changing with the large number of steel plants located in Jharsuguda and Sambalpur districts. Inadequate train services is a serious impediment for people of that area. Ministry of Railways is requested for introduction of an Inter-city Express between Jharsuguda and Bhubaneswar.

Super fast Express between Rourkela to New Delhi.

The industrial and mining area of Sundargarh and Jharsuguda district are sparsely connected to New Delhi. Introduction of a direct train will be immensely popular facilitating travel of passengers from these districts.



Direct Train between Bhubaneswar-Chandiqarh-Kalka

A large number of people of Orissa are employed in defence services and allied sectors in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. A super fast express may be introduced from Bhubneswar to Chandigarh, which will also encourage tourism between Orissa and Himachal Pradesh.

Raiqarh-Gondia Intercity Express to Jharsuguda

Extension of this train shall provide a direct link from Vidarbha region to Western Orissa.

Bilaspur-Raiqarh passenger to Jharsuguda

Extension of this train will facilitate movement of passengers to a major part of Chattishgarh.

Extension of Janshatabdi Express between Howrah and Barbil to Keonjhar

Daitari-Banspani B6 rail link is expected to be commissioned very shortly. Keeping in view the aspirations of the people of Keonjhar and to facilitate connectivity for trade and commerce this train may be extended up to Keonjhar.

Amongst others, request was made for introduction of a Shatabdi Express from Puri to Paradeep. I would request Hon’ble Railway Minister through you to expedite and implement these passenger amenities.

Also the Garib Rath introduced between Bhubaneswar and Ranchi may be extended to Puri Jagannath Dham for the convenience of the tourists.

Introduction of EMU Services:

Hon’ble Speaker Sir, the electrification work between Kharagpur – Bhubaneswar is in progress and stretch of 200 kms between Palasa to Bhubaneswar has been commissioned. Ministry of Railways is requested to introduce fast Moving EMU Trains from Puri-Palasa and Puri-Balasore to cater to the need of passengers of Puri-Khurda Road-Bhubaneswar and Balasore. I would request to Hon’ble Railway Minister through you for introduction of these EMU Trains for the benefit of the passengers.



The Ministry of Railway has introduced an Express Train from Sambalpur to Raipur this may be extended to Puri as this will facilitate a direct link between the capitals of two States. I would also request you that existing Hirakund Express from Nizamuddin to Bhubaneswar which, has been extended up to Visakhapatnam considering its long distance, provision of pantry car may be made, introduction of Three tier AC and the frequency of the said Train should be increased from 3 days in a week to daily service. The Hirakund Express may be provided with more coaches in order to cater to the requirement of passengers from Palasa, Berhampur, Chhatrapur and Balugaon.

Visakhapatnam-Nizamuddin Express Train may be increased from three days to daily in a week to cater the need of passengers traveling from Western Orissa to the capital of India. The frequency of New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express may be increased from 4 days to 7 days in week and these three days the Rajdhani Express may run Via-Samabalpur, Rourkela and Ranchi. The frequency of Puri-Ahmedabad Express Via-Sambalpur and Vizianagaram may be increased to facilitate journey of large number of workers from Orissa employed in Gujrat. It is requested that the frequency of this train Via-Sambalpur may be increased to thrice a week and via-Vizianagarm to four days in a week. The frequency of Bhubaneswar-Kurla Express may be increased to three days in week. This train is immensely popular by passengers traveling from Western Orissa. Frequency of Puri – Tirupati Express may be increased to daily service and the time span may be reduced from 28 hrs to 24 hrs in the interest of general public . Since large number of fishermen folk are visiting Puri and have business connections, the Puri-Tirupati Express may be having an additional stoppage at ‘Tuni’ Railway Station under South Central Railway. Coramondal Express may be stopped at "Guddur station" for the convenience of general public.

Establishment of passenger halt at Indrayumna, Puri.

Request was made to Railway Ministry that a passenger halt at Indradyumna near Puri under Khurda Road Division may be established. The Railways had conducted a survey and asked for certain information. Necessary information has been provided to the Railways since long and the proposal is a financially viable one, however, no progress has been made so far in this regard. The necessary of sanction for establishment of a passenger halt at Indradyumna may be accorded in the budget 2008-09.



Passenger amenities:

Hon’ble Speaker Sir, Ministry of Railways was requested for increase in passenger amenities for Orissa as with the creation of East Coast Railway and with establishment of its Headquarters in Bhubaneswar the expectation and aspiration of people of Orissa for better infrastructural developments of the stations has been increased. The Ministry of Railways was requested to improve passenger amenities at Puri, Titlagarh, Rayagarha, Raigarha, Koraput, Kessinga, Chattrapur, Balugaon, Jaleswar and Balangir Stations. The Ministry is also requested to further increase computerized network for reservation at Kuhudi, Kalupadaghat and Chhatrapur of Orissa. Though PRS-cum-UTS has been sanctioned for Sakhigopal, Khariar Road and Soro stations, this has not been made operational. This may kindly be expedited. Janakideipur Railway Station under Khurda Division may be developed as a full-fledged Railway Station to cater for a large chunk of people. The 214 down and 213 up Puri- Cuttack passenger train, the only train which is helping the service holders and daily commuter may be provided with additional coaches as the number of commuters have increased causing immense difficulty to the daily passengers.

Introduction of Pantry Car.

Some long distance trains originating from Bhubaneswar-Puri are not provided with Pantry Services. Ministry of Railways is requested that pantry car services for Bhubaneswar-Bangalore Express (8415/8416). Bhubaneswar-Kurla Express 1045/1046 and Puri-Tirupati Express (8439/8440) may be provided. Necessary provision for funds in this regard may be made in the in Budget 2008-09.

Coaching Terminals:

Hon’ble Speaker Sir, Orissa has only one coaching terminal at Bhubaneswar, which is land locked and inhibits expansion. This terminal should be expanded in order to accommodate more number of Trains. The Coaching Terminal at Puri has been closed. Hon’ble Speaker Sir, I would request to Hon’ble Railway Minister through you for setting up of coaching terminals with revival of one at Puri and in order to accommodate more number of trains. Proper coaching terminals may be developed at Berhampur, Sambalpur and Koraput also.



Hon’ble Speaker Sir, I would request the Hon’ble Railway Minister through you to kindly substantially increase from the present allotment in the Railway Budget 2008-09 for completion of ongoing railway projects in the State of Orissa which will fulfill the expectation and aspiration of the people of Orissa and culminate in economic growth and prosperity of the State.

 

 

(ends)

1735 hours

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK): Thank you, Sir.  I would confine my speech to a few specific problems as the time at my disposal is very limited.

I would like to bring to your notice as well as to the notice of the hon. Minister present here that last year in the Railway Budget two specific projects were sanctioned for the State of Orissa; Sambalpur-Titlagarh and Titlagarh-Raipur.  It was also envisaged that these will be taken up by the Rail Vikas Nigam. These projects come under East-Coast Railway.  As you know, Sir, the East-Coast Railway was approved by the Ministry of Railways after a long struggle by the State Government as well as by the people of Orissa.

 I would like to bring to your notice a specific action of RVNL by which they have tried to divert the execution of these two projects.  All the pre-requisite action, like the survey and the detailed project report, have been taken by the East-Coast Railway.  But now the RVNL has written a letter – the General Manager PI-1 has written a letter to the Additional General Manager RVNL, Bilaspur – that the execution of Sambalpur-Titlagarh doubling will be done by Kolkata and Raipur-Titlagarh work will be executed by Bilaspur division.  This is how the Railway administration, Railway Ministry as also the Railway Board have tried to cripple the work of East-Coast Railways.  These two particular lines come under the jurisdiction of East-Coast Railways, Bhubaneswar which has also undertaken the preliminary work like survey and DPR.  If I am permitted, I would like to quote his name.  General Manager PI-1 has written a letter to the Additional General Manager, RVNL, Bilaspur that these two projects will be executed by Kolkata, that is South-Eastern Railway and also by the South-East Central Railway, whose headquarter is at Bilaspur.  This is the case of utter negligence on the part of the Railway Ministry.  When these two projects come under the jurisdiction of East-Coast Railway how can they be executed by the South-Eastern Railway and the South-East Central Railway?  This is certainly an action on the part of the Railway Ministry to neglect the State of Orissa and to cripple the working of the East-Coast Railway at Bhubaneswar.  How can this particular gentleman write a letter saying that this particular work will be executed by Railways other than the East-Coast Railway?[R119] 

(z3/1740/rc/cp)[R120] 

          Another thing I would like to bring to your kind notice.  Last year, a sum of Rs.680 crore was sanctioned.  You will be surprised to know that a report has come in the newspaper of Delhi saying that only Rs.385 crore has been spent and the remaining Rs.283 crore will be diverted.  This is the case of utter negligence on the part of the Railways and discrimination against the State of Orissa.  Fortunately, the Railway Minister, hon. Shri Lalu Prasadji is here.  I would like to draw his attention to this point.  He should clarify this point.

          Another point I would like to bring to the notice of the hon. Minister.  The East Coast Railway Zone was sanctioned when the NDA was in power and Shri Nitish Kumar was the Railway Minister.

THE MINISTER OF RAILWAYS (SHRI LALU PRASAD): Please give me a copy of the sanction letter.

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK): Which sanction letter?

??? ?????? (???? ???? ??????)  :  ??? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ???????  …(???????) ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ?? ??? ??????? ??? ??, ?? ?? ???? ??????? ???? ??????? …(???????) ?? ?????? ?? ?????

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK): The sanction letter must be with the Ministry of Railways.  How can I have that sanction letter?  Everybody knows including this hon. House that this particular zone was sanctioned during the NDA regime… (Interruptions).  He is at the helm of affairs.  He can find it.… (Interruptions)

SHRI LALU PRASAD:  You put up that letter and I will implement it.

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK): Sir, I am a Member of this House.   How can I go into his Ministry and find out the letter?… (Interruptions)

???? ???? ??????  : ??? ?? ???? ????, ?? ?????? ?? ?? ??????

SHRI BRAJA KISHORE TRIPATHY (PURI): At that time, it was announced in the speech of the Railway Minister.  Now you have also delivered your speech and made some announcements.  So, should we not believe you?

???? ???? ?????? :  ?? ???? ??????

???? ??? ????? ???????? (????) : ????? ???????? ?? ????? ??? ???

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK):  Sir, I will be very thankful to the hon. Minister of Railways if he places a copy of the sanctioned letter on the Table of the House so that everybody could know when it was sanctioned.  What is the harm in it?… (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN (DR. LAXMINARAYAN PANDEYA): Please conclude now.

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK): Sir, the East Coast Railway was sanctioned after much persuasion, demand and also much labour both by the Members of Parliament and also people outside.  So, I would request the Railway Minister to see that this particular Railway gets activated fully.  Sir, I can place a copy of the letter written by the Rail Vikas Nigam.  If you allow me to place it on the Table, I would place it.

MR. CHAIRMAN:  You can give it to the hon. Minister.

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK):  All right.  I will hand it over to the hon. Railway Minister.

???? ???? ??????  :  ??????? ???? ??? ??????  

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK): The letter was issued by the General Manager, Rail Vikas Nigam.

MR. CHAIRMAN:  Please conclude.

SHRI ARJUN SETHI (BHADRAK): Sir, please give me only one minute.[R121] 

(a4/1745/snb-nsh)[R122] 

          Sir, my parliamentary constituency is Bhadrak. The Bhadrak station was declared as one of the model stations not only in the State of Orissa but also in the entire Railway stem. Today if anyone would visit that station any time, he would be surprised to see that there is not even platform shelter in the station. There is no lighting arrangements and also all other amenities that are supposed to be there are absent.

          One ROB was sanctioned for Orissa and it was assured by the hon. Minister of State for Railways that it would be completed and operationalised by February, 2008. Today we are in the month of March. So, I would like to request the hon. Minister to look into these matters and see to it that this ROB is sanctioned at the earliest.

          Thank you. 

(ends)

 

 

*DR. PRASANNA KUMAR PATASANI (BHUBANESWAR) :  Every year we are participating in Railway budget. Honourable Minister Laluji presently placed a  good budget but we are debarred of getting good sanction for our state of Orissa. Our own Chief Minister deputed one Committee of Representatives headed by Hon’ble Speaker and we had a nice meeting with Laluji in his own chamber. As per our demand, Laluji paid us a patient hearing and committed to allot more money to our state. According to all India ratio the money which is allotted by Minister is not sufficient. I don’t know most of the time we see whatever money that you are allotting in this budget your officials not utilizing properly. Therefore, most of the time the money is lost and you are diverting to other states. I have been requesting to allot a good sum of amount to Khurdha, Bolangir, new Railway line. Whatever the money you have allocated is not sufficient. And why it is delay of utilizing the last year money to be enquired by your august office. Kurdha Bolangir railway new line is linking in between western Orissa to eastern Orissa and western Orissa is quiet adjacent to your Bihar. If this railway line would be completed soon the people of Bihar may come to see Puri Lord Jagannath, the biggest world heritage Konark and Lingraja Mandir. In the world heritage consequently within 60 kms radius there are three world heritage situated in Orissa that is Konark, Lingaraja and Puri Jagannath temple. This is the only railway line in India which goes through downtrodden area of adivasi, harijan and girijan that is the most poorest area of the country that they don’t see the train since independence. To promote our state Orissa from below poverty line this railway linkage can promote the economical, commercial revenues of the country. There is another small railway line from Puri to Konark must be surveyed immediately to promote eco tourism. I demand repeatedly that there should be metro railway connecting Kurdha, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar immediately.

 

 

* Laid on the Table.



Sir, I am representing Bhubaneswar the cultural capital of India, that is the capital of our state to the Parliament. As a peoples’ representative, I have been demanding to make Bhubaneswar as a No.1 city in the country. Now in the IT sector and other scientific achievements which is done by the present government should not be ignored. To promote the city we need some more flyovers to be done immediately. In the 13th Lok Sabha you had only sanctioned i.e. Punama Gate according to my request. That is not yet completed. Rest of the gates those are located under east zone Mancheswar, Vir Surendra Sai Nagar, Satya Nagar, Sayed Nagar and another Bhubanesar station leading towards commercial market. Minister should pay personal attention to start this railway overbridge on priority basis to protect the lives of poor people. In every month they are getting accidents and deaths. To avoid this human tragedy a good sum of amount may please be allotted in this Supplementary budget. I have been requesting to you since long to construct one over bridge under Jatoni constituency ie. Near to Kurdha Rly. Junction. To save the lives of poor people those are leading a very miserable lives. That the railway bridge previously constructed in the British period may be collapsed at any time. To save the lives and property of local people I draw immediate attention to implement the project diverting the funds i.e unutilized in other states.

In the last government east coast zone is originated and not so progressed and the construction of building works is highly delayed. The headquarter office should be completed and I request the inaugural ceremony must be done by you before the elections and to this zone other ancillary materials and the improvement of works must be executed properly so that this should be best zone in the country.



And lastly in my submission my state Orissa is highly neglected relating to railway sector in the country. Suppose this year you have allotted about 30 crores to Kurdha-Bolangir the project needs more than 1000 crores and if this way the money would be sanctioned this will take another 50 years to complete the project. So I request please allot 300 crores altogether to start the work ahead. Other new line projects submitted by our most popular state government should be paid special attention by you.

 (ends)

*SHRI ANANTA NAYAK (KEONJHAR) : I rise to take part in the discussion on Railway Budget. Sir, Railway is the life line of the nation; it is the largest public sector undertaking. Now this PSU is earning profit and paying dividend every year. I thanks the Railway Minister to improve the financial condition of Railway. But we should not forget the employees at the grassroots, the worker the gangamen, the railway Staffs and last but not least the Railway Board also deserve thanks for paying dividend.

Railway is the largest transport system in the country. But the system needs connection with each and every State irrespective of the fact whether any areas are hilly, dense forest and inaccessible due to same reason. Even after 61 years of Independence people in some States have not yet seen Rail. So, Rail connectivity must be provided to such areas.

Development of infrastructure depends mainly on the rail connectivity. There are 12 major ports in the country. All the ports must be provided with rail connectivity. While presently the Rail Budget the Hon’ble Minister has referred to new train between Jaipur and Paradeep of course train services is available between Cuttack and Paradeep which is being extended to Bhubaneswar. I urge upon the Minster to connect Paradip Port with the hinterland, the Minister has announced new lines from Keonjhargarh to Badapaahad and Barbil to Barsuan. A loop line may be constructed between Keonjhargarh and Ganhdamardan sector. This will facilitate the transport of iron ore and other minerals to Paradeep Port for export purpose. The cost of opertion will also not much. Each line will give profit to Railway Department.

The Hon’ble Minister of Railways in kind enough to introduce Garib Rath to different States. But he is unkind to my State like Orissa. I request him to introduce  a Garib Rath  between  New Delhi and  Bhubneswar  connecting  my

 

 

* Laid on the Table.

Parliamentary constituency Keonjhar. I take this opportunity to thank him for introducing of new train between Keonjhargarh and Puri. That means the Hon’ble Minister has recognized the importance to mineral rich Keonjhar parliamentary Constituency. He has also increased the frequency of 2421/2422 Bhubaneswar via Tata Nagar. So we are having Radhani for 5 days in a week. I demand that a pair of Radhani Express may be introduced between New Delhi and Bhubaneswatr via Tatanagar and keonjhargarh. The people of the backward area which is very rich in minerals and developed industrially will be greatly benefited if this train is introduced we have got a large number of workers from the home State of Hon’ble Minister and also from West Bengal. So adequate train connection may be provided between Keonjhargarh, Patna and Kolkota. A large number of devotees visit Deogarh from my area. We will be grateful if the Hon’ble Minister considers a daily train from Keonjhargarh to Deoghar. The pilgrims will get direct connection to Babadham. This will promote tourism also.

Sir, coming to freight earning the undivided south Eastern Railways was earn highest amount of revenue from freight among all the Railway Division. After bifurcation the East Coast Railway has the highest revenue earner from freight on that basis I was demanding better treatment to Orissa from day one of my election as member of parliament. I belong to a Constituency which contributes maximum revenue to Railway by freight traffic. This freight earning will further increase one the line from Daitari and Banspani announced by the Minister. I appeal to Shri Lalu Prasadji to provide adequate fund for construction of additional line. This will facilitate the transport of Iron ore to Paradeep. India will get huge amount of foreign Exchange from the export of Mineral. In addition to Railway the National exchequer will be benefitted thereby.

Sir, there is an urgent need to modernize the Indian Railway. I am glad that the Hon’ble Railway Minister has taken steps in that direction .1 appeal the Railway Minister to give priority to modernize the signaling system and safety along with development of the security of the passengers. Passengers one boarded the train must reach their destination safely. The security must be provided in the long distance trains.

Sir, the Hon’ble Minister has sanctioned the doubling of some lines. As far as Orissa is concerned only a few kilometres from Jakhapura to Haridaspur, Paradeep to Bansapani, Barbil to Badampahad and Champajhar to bimlagarh have been mentioned in his speech. However i welcome the proposal for doubling Jhakapura-bansapani line.

Sir, the Minister has introduced a bi-weekly Express train between Bhubaneswar and Mumbai via Sambalpur. This train should be made a daily train. I take this opportunity to request the Minister to increase the frequency of Hirakhanda Express from tri-weekly to a daily train.

 

 



 



         Sir, the Rail Vikash Nigam Ltd., is doing very well. It should pay special attention to complete the ongoing projects in Orissa. The target date has been fixed to complete the gaudge conversion of Naupada-Gunupur. It is an old project lunched during British regime. It should be completed within the target date.

Sir, So far as the new projects are concerned a small Port in between Banspani and Jurdi has been selected. This should at least be completed upto Keonjhargarh in 2008-09.At the same time all possible efforts should be made to complete the proposed line between Banspani and Barbil. Besides proposal to construct some new projects like Bargarh to Padampur, Talcher to Gopalpur and Rupsa-Bangiriposhi-Gorumaihini and Badapahad to Keonjhargarh are pending with the Govt. I request the Railway Minister to extend financial support to these projects.

Sir,

So far as survey is concerned Banspani to Bimlagarh should be given priority.

Sir, I shall be failing in my duty if I donot drawn the attention of the Hon’ble Minister to remind him the urgent need to introduce the Express train from Keonjhargarh to Howrah and Barbil to Vishakapatnam via keonjhargarh and Bhubaneswar. I hope that the introduction of these new trains would be considered during the current financial year.



Sir, now the Kanasatabdi Express train is running from Howrah and Barbil. This should be extended to Keonjhargarh for which i have been demanding time and again.

Lastly, I would like to draw the attention of the Hon’ble Minister to the poor passenger amenities in the Railway Stations in Orissa. Except a few most of the stations do not have such facilities. Greater emphasis should be laid to provide passenger amenity in all these stations. Also demand that platform for Barbil station should be raised during this year. I thank the Railway Minister for considering the genuine demands of Keonjhar.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak.

 

                                                                                                (ends)

2122 hours

SHRIMATI JHANSI LAKSHMI BOTCHA (BOBBILI): Hon. Chairman, Sir, I rise to support the historic Railway Budget for 2008-2009 presented by the hon. Railway Minister Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav.  

The Garib Rath train between Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam may be extended up to Rayagada Station to cover Bobbili parliamentary constituency, Parvathipuram parliamentary constituency in Andhra Pradesh and Koraput parliamentary constituency in Orissa. People of these constituencies would remain eternally grateful for this.

 

2339 hours

SHRI KHARABELA SWAIN (BALASORE): Mr. Chairman, Sir, I will confine my speech to only one point and that is about railway security. We have got the Railway Protection Force and we have got the Government Railway Police. Since law and order is a State subject, all the crimes committed inside the railway coaches or on the railway stations are dealt with by the GRP, and the RPF’s only job is to protect the railway property. As you know, all the unwanted police personnel of the State are sent to the GRP.[R224] 

(z6/2340/rs/jr)

[r225] Sometimes it is very strangely found that GRP files cases against the RPF personnel.  Now, the RPF organisation is being headed by an IPS officer who comes on deputation.  The DG, RPF, most of the time, does not have much of expertise on the functioning of the RPF.  He somehow enjoys a good time while in the Railways.

          My request to the hon. Railway Minister is that he should build up the RPF officers’ cadre.  The RPF officers are recruited through the Central services and they should not be held up at the DIG’s level for seven to eight years.  If they are given promotion early, there shall be continuity in the RPF cadre and the RPF cadre will be sustained and these officers, with their vast experience, can lead the RPF.

          I will also further request the hon. Prime Minister, through the hon. Railway Minister, that the Constitution should be amended to confer more law and order powers to the RPF personnel because the RPF personnel has got some accountability whereas the GRP has got none.  So, this is my point of preference to the hon. Railway Minister.

          I have got some small demands, which I shall, with your permission, lay on the Table of the House.

 

*Through you, I shall request the Hon’ble Railway Minister to implement the following railway projects in my constituency Balasore in Orissa.

(1)       Rail under bridge may be constructed at Tamulia Fatak level crossing
in between Balasore and Nilagiri Road Station of Kharagpur Division in S.E
Railways.

(2)              Road Under bridge also may be constructed at the Uttareswar level crossing near the western cabin of the Soro railway station in the KGP Division of S.E Railways.

(3)              A daily Fast passenger train may run in between Baripada-Howrah in the KGP Division of S.E. Rly.

(4)              The 203/204 Kharagpur-Bhubaneswar Fast Passenger should run via Cuttack instead of Naraj. This will reduce the running time of the train and it will connect a very important Station like Cuttack which is having the only Medical College of Eastern Orissa.

(5)              The goods shed of Balasore railway station in the KGP Division of SE Rly. should be provided with shed cover. The same platform also be concretised so that the goods are not thrown as the mud and dust.

(6)              The Puri -Okha Express train should run once a week via Balasore,
Kharagpur and Nagpur.

(ends)

 

Orissa MPs statement in the Rajya Sabha on Railway matters

ECOR, Odisha MPs Comments Off on Orissa MPs statement in the Rajya Sabha on Railway matters

The following is from page 23-24 of http://164.100.47.5/newdebate/213/12032008/15.00pmTo16.00pm.pdf. on 12th March 2008.

MS. PRAMILA BOHIDAR (ORISSA): Sir, I would like to thank the hon. Railway Minister for having taken the step to grant free monthly tickets to girl students up to graduation level. Sir, the hon. Railway Minister has also taken a very welcome step to grant 50 per cent concession for railway travel to senior women citizens. Sir, I also express happiness for extending a train from Sambalpur to Banaras via Rourkela and Ranchi. But, this is only a half-hearted step. I had raised the demand for a direct train from Titlagarh or Sambalpur to Allahabad during the course of my speech in the last so many Railway Budgets. But, this has not been done. If this train is introduced, a lot of passengers of western Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh will be benefited.

Sir, I would like to draw the special attention of the Railway Minister to the different developmental grants given to Orissa, which are not sufficient. As Orissa is giving maximum revenue from valuable iron ore and mines, it is but natural for us to expect developmental work of railway system in interiors of Orissa. There is lack of railway link inside the adivasi areas and the newly developed industrial belt. These areas are to be well-connected with capital Bhubaneswar; otherwise, it will be very difficult to control immediately frequent naxalite attacks. Sir, the Orissa Government has presented demands for setting up of various projects, like wagon-making, electrical equipment making, factories at Bondamunda near Rourkela and Manchansuer near Bhubaneswar. But, these proposals have not been included in the Railway Budget. It is regrettable that these demands have not been fulfilled. Sir, our Chief Minister had raised a demand of Rs.1,330 crores, but the Budget has allocated only Rs.972 crores. Out of the above allocation, the major portion is meant for electrification and doubling of inter-State railway lines.

Sir, very less importance has been given to completion of on-going projects or construction of new railway lines. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that some of the railway projects, though sanctioned between 1993 and 1998, have not been completed till date for want of proper allocation of funds. These projects are mostly in tribal and naxalite areas. These areas have been neglected in this Budget. These on-going projects are: Daitari-Banspani; Lanjigarh-Junagarh; Khurda Road-Bolangir; Haridaspur-Paradeep; Angul-Dubri-Sukinda; Talcher-Bimalagarh; and Rupsa- Bangiriposi.

Sir, only some negligible amount of Rs.32.4 crores and Rs.35 crores have been provided to Khurda Road-Bolangir and Lanjigarh-Junagarh railway lines respectively, which will still remain incomplete. I request the Railway Minister that these projects should be completed early. Sir, the State Government has already submitted some proposals for incorporation in the current Budget, but it is regrettable that not a single project has been incorporated in this Budget.

Sir, I would also request the hon. Railway Minister to provide railway link to the naxalite affected areas, like Jaypore, Malkangiri, Naupada, Gunupur, Kandhamal, which are neglected for decades. Sir, I impress upon the hon. Railway Minister to consider the abovementioned proposals in greater interest of Orissa. Thank you, Sir. (Ends)

 

MP Sushila Tiria’s speech in Hindi on 11th March 2008 is at http://164.100.47.5/newdebate/213/11032008/14.00pmTo15.00pm.pdf (page 15-23) and page 1 of http://164.100.47.5/newdebate/213/11032008/15.00pmTo16.00pm.pdf.

Two Orissa-West Bengal MPs plan to jointly push for Jaleswar-Digha Railway line: Samaja

Balasore, Odisha MPs, Railway network in Odisha, SER Comments Off on Two Orissa-West Bengal MPs plan to jointly push for Jaleswar-Digha Railway line: Samaja