Archive for the 'Railway network in Odisha' Category

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik vents against UPA and NDA; Beginning of a sustainable third front?

CENTER & ODISHA, Chief Minister's actions, Defence establishments, Demanding equitable treatment, Mine royalty and cess, Railway network in Odisha 6 Comments »

This is interesting. Naveen Patnaik has a strong election winning record in Odisha and based on the current ZP and Panchayat elections, it seems he will also win big in the next elections in Odisha. He is suave, gentle, has a good natinoal image, not prone to histironics (like Mamata Banerjee), not an ayaaram-gayaram (i.e., does not change alliances often like AIADMK and hence reliable), speaks good English, and Odisha being a smaller state other state leaders will not think he is too powerful. So he may be an acceptable PM candidate for a third front consisting mainly of various regional parties. He is right about the problems with the two national alliances in India. The big problem with UPA is its multiple power centers, especially with the all power no responsibility position of the Yuvraj. He and his cronies have single handedly stopped major development in Odisha; especially the Vedanta University. The other problem with national parties is that their leadership in Delhi control the states where they rule. As a result, while those states do get some extra benefits, they are manipulated by the center to agree to their wishes, even if it may be detrimental to the state’s interest. In the context of Odisha a UPA govt in Delhi can push a Congress govt. in Odisha to give mining leases to companies of its choice.

At present the Odisha government is able to defy them to some extent. Even in case of coal blocks where the center unilaterally allocates the blocks, the state is able to put its terms, sometimes vocally, as the companies need the help of the state in getting the land and various clearances. That is the reason MCL and NTPC have agreed to establish medical colleges in Odisha. If there was a Congress government they would not be as vocal and may have just signed on the dotted lines as dictated by the central leadership. Of course one has to also think of the country as a whole. But in the past what has happened is that in the name of "national interest" Odisha has suffered greatly, some of it partly overcome by the non-Congress leadership in Odisha.

Examples of this are:

  • The freight equalization policy that harmed the industrialization of Odisha.
  • The low royalty rates of minerals.
  • Lack of port development. (There is folklore about how Biju Patnaik unilaterally went ahead to establish Paradeep port)
    • Also related is the disregard of the military about accommodating port development near their sites.
  • The opposition of Rahul Gandhi and his cohorts to industrial development in Kalahandi and Vedanta University.
  • Lack of development of Railways in Odisha.

Some of the above were overcome when there was a third front type government at the center. The ECOR zone was one of them. Since the ECOR zone was established things have looked up in the Railways sector in Odisha, but there is lot more to be done.

In the mining and metal based industry sector, since the BJD government in Odisha has become very discriminative in giving leases and installed the value added policy there has been a beeline of investment (some of it yet to come to fruition). The government has seen through the past games of Tatas and now have forced them establish a plant in Odisha (hence their upcoming Kalinganagar plant) and yet have not given them any new leases. SAIL and NALCO are not having an easier time either. 

So the point is that in our current set up where leadership in Delhi (true for both UPA and NDA) often dictates the state leaders of the same party to do what it wants, the state may lose out in the name of national interest. On the other hand *honest* regional parties can guard the state’s interests as has happened in Odisha. More and more states are going that way.

However, its not clear what kind of central government a coalition of regional parties will be able to form and how well will that work at the national level.

More ramblings later. … (See for related thoughts.)


Khurda-Balangir line: State pushes to get approval for kms 36-112 (From Samaja)

Khurda Rd - Balangir (under constr.), Odisha govt. action, Railway network in Odisha 3 Comments »

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

Balangir, Bouda, Khordha, Khurda Rd - Balangir (under constr.), Odisha MPs, Railway network in Odisha 4 Comments »

Budgetary Provision for railway network in Odisha since 1992-1993

Doubling, New Lines, Railway Budgets, Railway network in Odisha 6 Comments »

The following table (except the last three rows) is from an Odisha government source.  All the amounts are in crores of rupees.


New Rail lines

Gauge Conv.


Elect- rificat- ion

































































































































































Open line







Open line







Open line







Open line







Open line


2009-2010 275.07 36.14 389 14.1   714.31
2010-2011 448.7 6 396.2 **   851
2011-2012 733.4 14 576.17  12.5   1336.07

The last three rows are filled by me. The rest is from an Odisha government document.

Where Odisha lost out in the Railway budget?

Railway Budget 2010, Railway network in Odisha 2 Comments »

Following is from Dharitri.

The above article writes about the analysis of ex-MP Braja Tripathy. His main complaint is that Indian Railways makes 10% of its revenue (about 6000 crores) from Odisha but has spent only 2% of the budget in Odisha; 836 crores out of 41,426 crores. He also says that in 2008-09 the Rail budget had 948.34 crores for Odisha and since then while the revenue and planned expenses have increased 10-15%, Odisha’s rail budget has decreased by 115 crores. 

Mr. Tripathy has a very good point. We made similar points in our page and in the article

However, I partly agree with the comment made by Mr. Prasanna Mishra; this year’s allotment of 120 crores for the Khurda-Balangir line is pretty good. The Odisha government must facilitate land acquisition so that the full 120 crores is spent this year. That way it can ask for more in the next budget and possibly get it. Otherwise next year Khurda-Balangir will get a smaller allocation and we will be back to square one.

Orissa MPs raise various issues in the parliament

Demanding equitable treatment, Kalahandi, Odisha issues in the Parliament, Odisha MPs, Railway network in Odisha, Railways Comments Off on Orissa MPs raise various issues in the parliament

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.

Orissa’s peeve with the center

CENTER & ODISHA, Demanding equitable treatment, Mine royalty and cess, Odisha Assembly, Odisha govt. action, Railway network in Odisha Comments Off on Orissa’s peeve with the center

Following is an excerpt from a report in Pioneer.

the BJD has decided to bring four resolutions against the Centre. “We will move resolution against the Centre for neglecting the cause of Odisha in the field of railway, for not increasing mine royalty in a regular manner and not giving its due share to the State, Centre’s negligence in providing help to the State to face the Maoist menace and Government’s failure to provide flood assistance to the State,” Mohanty added.

I agree with the above.


History of Parlakhemundi light railway: Indian Express

Gajapati, Naupada - Gunupur (Gauge conversion), Odisha history, Railway network in Odisha, Rayagada Comments Off on History of Parlakhemundi light railway: Indian Express

Indian Express has a nice article on the history of Parlakhemundi light railway. Following are some excerpts.

Paralakhemedi Light Railway (PLR) was two feet six inches gauge railway. It was the brainchild of the erstwhile Raja of Paralakhemedi. The Kimedi country, consisting of Paralakhemedi, Paddakimedi and Chinna Kimedi, was under a single ruler till 1607. Paralakhemedi came under the British influence in 1768.

East Coast Railway came into existence in the year 1893 with the construction of the Cuttack-Khurda Road-Puri line, covering a distance of 96 kms and its subsequent link along the East Coast up to Vijayawada — junction point of Southern Maratha Railway and Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway. As a result, a stretch of 1280 kms of East Coast Railway, covering the entire coastal stretch of Cuttack, Khurda Road, Puri, Palasa, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, was opened for traffic between 1893 to 1896. East Coast Railway brought rail line to Naupada in 1894. The Raja of Paralakhemedi decided to connect his capital with Naupada, which was only 40 kms away. With the government giving sanction in 1898, work began in full earnest. The line was opened to traffic in 1900. This railway line was built at a cost of Rs 7 lakh.

Due to a change in the policy of the British Government, the Bengal Nagpur Railway, popularly known as the B.N.R, took over the northern section of East Coast Railway from Vizianagaram to Cuttack, including the Branch Line of Puri, by 23-01-1902. Accordingly, the working of the PLR was taken over by the Bengal-Nagpur Railway in 1902. In the first few years, the PLR had incurred losses but after 1910, it started making marginal profits and after 1924-25, the profits increased. This motivated the Raja to extend the line to Gunupur in two phases in 1929 and 1931. There were now a total of ten stations between Naupada and Gunupur. Tekkali, Paddasan, Temburu, Ganguvada, Patapatnam, Paralakhemedi, Kashinagar, Lihuri, Bansidhara and Palasingi.

The management of BNR was taken over by the Government of India in October 1944. On 14-04-1952, at the time of the re-grouping of the Indian Railways it became part of the Eastern Railway. The merger of B.N.R. into Eastern Railway, however, did not last long and on 01-08-1955 it was merged with newly constituted South Eastern Railway. During the SER centenary celebrations in 1987, set of four postage stamps were released. One of the stamps featured the PL 691 locomotive.

The standard type of locomotive on PLR was the 20 ton 0-6-4 tank locomotive with small (27 inch diameter) coupled wheels and an axle load of only 4.75 tons. …

The foundation-stone was finally laid for the Naupada-Gunupur gauge conversion work at Naupada on September 27, 2002. With effect from April 1, 2003, PLR became a part of the newly formed East Coast Railway. The line was finally closed for gauge conversion on June 9, 2004.

Courtesy National Rail Museum

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?

Calculating Indian Railways’ estimated profit from Orissa in 2008-09

APPEAL to readers, Railway network in Odisha, SECR, SER 1 Comment »
  Total Route kms Route Kms in Orissa

Total estimated Profit in 08-09 (in crores)

Orissa’s portion of the profit (in crores)
ECOR 2430 1607 3077.15 2034.97
SECR 1599 51 2529.89 80.69
SER 2577 589 2467.88 564.06
    2247   2679.72


Khurda-Balangir work stopped for now?

Khurda Rd - Balangir (under constr.), Railway network in Odisha Comments Off on Khurda-Balangir work stopped for now?

Following is from Sambada:

Following is from Samaja:

Chinese to help in the making of a world class station in Bhubaneswar?

Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, ECOR, Khordha, Railway network in Odisha, TOI, Economic Times Comments Off on Chinese to help in the making of a world class station in Bhubaneswar?

Following is an excerpt from a report in the Economic Times.

Railways may seek Chinese help in developing railway stations at Bhubaneswar and Bypanahalli in Bangalore.

A high-level Chinese delegation is visiting India from tomorrow to understand the Indian Railway system in a better way as part of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between both the countries.

The 13-member delegation headed by Wu Wei, Director of Sino-India Railway Cooperation Working Group will visit Agra, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Bangalore during their 12-day visit.

… The two countries’ cooperation in rail sector is envisaged in the MoU signed on January 14 during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing. The agreement, valid for three years, envisages development of rail-related programmes of mutual interest.

… The team would visit railway station at Bhubaneswar and Bypanahalli to explore the possibility of developing these stations at the international level. "After visiting these places, the team would share their views with us about the way to go ahead with the project, said the official.

Excerpts from TOI editorial: “After Nayagarh”

CENTER & ODISHA, Higher Education neglect, KBK Plus district cluster, Odisha govt. action, Railway network in Odisha Comments Off on Excerpts from TOI editorial: “After Nayagarh”

From Today’s TOI Editorial:

Along with policing, however, other arms of the state machinery need to act and reach out to India’s tribal areas where Maoist insurgents are based. That means schools, roads, health care, easy credit, market access and other social welfare measures needed to mainstream India’s tribals and poor.

There’s a misguided belief that a hands-off policy is best when it comes to tribals. It becomes a handy excuse for not undertaking concerted efforts to bring them within the ambit of modernity and an Indian common market. The problem is that if government institutions don’t make serious efforts to get to India’s 84 million tribals then others will: Christian missionaries, Hindu activists, Maoist proselytisers. And that will end up strengthening the forces of both ideological extremism and regional chauvinism. Instead of ad hoc, panicky responses whenever incidents like Nayagarh happen, a long-term strategy comprising both security and welfare elements needs to be put in place to tackle the Naxalites and tone up governance in the areas that are their strongholds.


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

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Press release on CM’s speech to the National Development Council

CENTER & ODISHA, Chief Minister's actions, Higher Education neglect, Marquee Institutions: existing and upcoming, Mine royalty and cess, Planning Commission and Odisha, Railway network in Odisha Comments Off on Press release on CM’s speech to the National Development Council

The following is from




Addressing the 54th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) at Delhi, Chief Minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik announced that the 11th five year plan for Orissa has an outlay of Rs.32,225 crore and targeted 9% growth for the plan period. This was set against the achievement of 7.26% growth during the first four years vis-à-vis the target of 6.2% of the 10th five year plan.


In his address, the Chief Minister, Orissa stated that tackling the challenging task of reduction of regional, social and gender disparities and achieving faster, broad-based and inclusive growth needed a three-pronged strategy that included:

(i)               Increasing flow of untied Central assistance to less developed states,

(ii)            Providing greater fiscal space to the states for mobilizing higher resources, and

(iii)          Helping states to reduce their debt burden by swapping high cost debt, including Small Savings debt, with low cost loans.

He impressed that a growth strategy that promotes employment has been rightly given prominence in the 11th Plan.  Orissa has already put employment generation on a mission mode for achieving convergence of resources and activities under different programmes to generate more employment opportunities for unemployed people.  Development of small scale industries in clusters and ancillarization are also going to be given more attention during the 11th Plan.


He also stressed that increasing irrigation potential and drought proofing were critical pre-requisites to enhance agricultural productivity.  With a view to increasing assured irrigation in Orissa, he urged Government of India to substantiality increase Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) funding for Orissa and to expand the scope of AIBP to include Lift Irrigation projects.  He further requested Government of India to significantly enhance allocations under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Revival Mission (JNNURM) and Urban Infrastructure Development Schemes for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) for providing basic infrastructure facilities in urban and semi-urban areas in Orissa.


The Chief Minister, Orissa further outlined several interventions that were urgently needed for expeditious and inclusive growth of backward states like Orissa.  Some such interventions included:

(i)               higher Central Assistance for infrastructure development in the areas of roads, ports and railways in Orissa and other backward states,

(ii)            enhancement of funding for the World Bank sponsored Orissa State Road Project from US $ 250 million to US $ 360 million and increased Central support for the proposed Ranchi-Vijayawada Highway,

(iii)          establishment of prestigious Central institutions like IIT, IIM and IIIT in Orissa to meet growing needs of skilled manpower for upcoming industries,

(iv)          exemption from income tax and central excise for 10 years for the KBK region on the lines of Special Category States in order to promote industrialization,

(v)             timely revision of royalty on coal and other minerals, on  ad valorem basis and  equitable share of export duty levied by Government of India on major minerals to the mineral rich states,

(vi)          just and adequate compensation for power producing states which bear the brunt of pollution and displacement, and

(vii)        expeditious coverage of all 30 districts under RGGVY and release of funds for the same.


The Chief Minister, Orissa also stressed that the mineral rich states needed to benefit from their natural endowment in a fair and efficient manner and that these states needed to be consulted in assigning mineral concessions.  He stated that value addition within the mineral bearing states needs to be given emphasis and hoped that Government of India shall fully address the concern of the mineral bearing states while finalizing the proposed mineral policy.  He further urged the Central Government to declare Orissa as a Special Category State.


Little progress on Lalu’s promises on the Rupsa-Baripada-Bangiriposi line: Samaja

Baripada - Bangiriposi (under constr.), Baripada- Bangiriposi- Similipal foothills, Mayurbhanj, Railway network in Odisha, Samaja (in Odia) Comments Off on Little progress on Lalu’s promises on the Rupsa-Baripada-Bangiriposi line: Samaja

MP Rudra Pani raises the issue of Rail connectivity in the parliament: Pragativadi

Angul - Talcher - Sukinda (under constr.), Haridaspur - Paradeep (under constr.), Khurda Rd - Balangir (under constr.), Lanjigarh Rd - Junagarh, Odisha MPs, Railway network in Odisha, Talcher - Bimlagarh (under constr.) Comments Off on MP Rudra Pani raises the issue of Rail connectivity in the parliament: Pragativadi

Pioneer on Railways’ apathy towards Orissa

ECOR, Odisha Assembly, Odisha MLAs, Railway network in Odisha, Railways, SER Comments Off on Pioneer on Railways’ apathy towards Orissa

Following is the Pioneer report on this.

The Centre’s stepmotherly attitude towards the cause of Orissa is clearly evident in the railway sector. While the State contributes significantly to the revenue of Railways, the railway route length spread across Orissa is a mere 2,495 km with an average of 15.03 km per 1,000 square km as against the national average of 19 km and much less than the average in the contiguous States.

During 2003-2004 and 2004-05 with respect to the working expenses as a part of gross earnings, the top two profitable railway zones were the South East Central (62.8 percentage and 56.1 percentage) and the East Coast Railways (66.64 percentage and 61.75 percentage). A big part of the profit of the East Coast Railways comes from transporting minerals from various mines in the tribal areas of Orissa.

Despite this, on an average during the last 16 years beginning from 1992-93, the State has received a paltry of Rs 254 crore per annum only. As a whole during the last 16 years, the State has received only Rs 4,070 crore.

While in 1992-93 it had received Rs 68.48 crore, the State received Rs 107.61 crore in 1993-94. Similarly the State received Rs 93.62 crore in 94-95, Rs 149.24 crore in 95-96, Rs 80.29 crore in 96-97, Rs 158.73 crore in 97-98, Rs 254.74 in 98-99, Rs243.74 crore in 99-2000, Rs 239.19 crore in 2000-01, Rs 178.66 in 2001-2002, Rs 194 crore in 2002-03, Rs 306 crore in 2003-04, Rs 360.98 crore in 2004-05, Rs 374.51 crore in 2005-06, Rs 653.90 crore in 2006-07 and Rs 606.51 crore in 2007-08.

Criticising the Ministry of Railways apathetic attitude towards the State, Speaker of Orissa Legislative Assembly Maheswar Mohanty said the Centre had been consistently ignoring the demands of the State in the railway sector for the last several years. “While preparing the Railway Budget, the Centre should take the revenue contribution and economic condition of the State as a criteria rather than taking population into account,” he said.

BJP State president Suresh Pujari has also criticised the Centre’s funding pattern to the State in railway sector.

It may be noted that East Coast Railway that was made functional from April 1, 2003 with three divisions namely, Khurda Road, Sambalpur and Waltair, has a lowest operating cost in the entire country. However, expansion of jurisdiction of East Coast Railways has become a necessity in light of the recent industrial projects coming up in Orissa for ensuring better coordination and facilitation of bulk customers.

In its memorandum which will be submitted to the Prime Minister and Railway Minister, the House Committee of the Orissa Assembly has urged the Ministry of Railways to either extend the jurisdiction of Sambalpur division to include Jharsuguda-Barsuan-Kiriburu, Rourkela-Nuagaon, Jharsuguda-Himgiri or to create a new division with headquarters either at Rourkela or Jharsuguda with its jurisdiction.

Likewise, the jurisdiction of East Coast Railways may be extended to include Bansapani-Padapahar section and Bhadrak-Laxmanath Road section.

Since Independence, only three broad gauge rail links namely, Talcher- Sambalpur, (174 km), Koraput-Rayagada (164 km) and Daitari-Banspani BG rail link have been commissioned. Projects like Lanjigarh Road- Junagarh sanctioned in the year 1993-94 have not been commissioned due to inadequate allotment of funds.

Dear PM: Drawing your attention towards KBK and tribal area Rail connectivity

APPEAL to readers, CENTER & ODISHA, ECOR, Railway network in Odisha, Railways, SER 13 Comments »

Following is the letter I sent to the PM with copy to Orissa CM, MPs, planning commission and chairman of the railway board. Please consider sending a similar letter to them. If possible please fax the letter to the PMO rather than emailing him.

PM’s fax numbers are 23016857 , 23015603 (Delhi STD code is 11)
Lalu’s fax number is 23387333

To: Dr. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister


Cc: Mr. Arjun Singh, Minister of HRD, Government of India

Cc: Mr. Lalu Yadav, Minister of Railways, Government of India

Cc: Mr. Chandrasekhar Sahu, Union Minister of State, Government of India

Cc: Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Orissa

Cc: Members of Parliament from Orissa

Cc: Media

Subject: KBK and other adivasi areas of Orissa and India can not be left behind while rest of India marches forward with high speed rail; metro rail and freight corridors

Dear Dr. Singh:

First we would like to convey our heartfelt thanks for your recent higher education initiatives that you outlined in the last Independence Day speech; in particular, the announcement regarding 8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, and 30 new central Universities with 16 of them going to states that do not have any central university. We sincerely hope that in picking the locations for these institutions you will keep in mind that for 60 years no IIT, IIM or central university have been established in Orissa. As a rapidly industrializing state, our highest priority is a new IIT. Following that, since there already exists 23 central universities, and you plan to have 30 more, and Orissa has none yet, our next priority is to have two new central universities in Orissa. We also request that the central university that is proposed to be in the KBK region should have multiple campuses so that it can cover the vast and tribal areas of KBK and because of the very high tribal and backward population in that area this university should be treated at par with the central universities in the north east. Again, we thank you from our heart for your initiatives and thank the HRD minister Mr. Arjun Singh for his role in this.

The above initiatives have restored in us some of the faith that we had earlier lost in your government. Now we would like to point out another burning issue with respect to Orissa that needs to be urgently addressed.

That issue is Rail connectivity to the hinterlands of Orissa, such as the KBK and other tribal districts of Orissa. As you are very well aware these areas are the most backward and poor areas of India; they have a very high tribal population; and are also infested with extremists. One of the important steps in uplifting these areas is making them well connected to the rest of India. That is where Rail Connectivity comes to picture.

As one of the earlier planning commissions has noted


“Railways have always played an important role in economic development and rapid social transformation in all parts of the globe. It is one of the key economic infrastructures. However, it is most unfortunate that in a poor and backward state like Orissa, development of rail networks has received much less attention of the Central Government in the post-independence period. There are as many as seven districts like Boudh, Kandhamal, Deogarh, Nayagarh, Kendrapara, Malkangiri and Nabarangpur out of the 30 districts of the state, which do not have any railway line passing through them. In the year 1998-99, the density of railway route length per 1000 sq. km of area in Orissa was only 15.03 km as against 42.66 km in West Bengal and 19.11 km. at all-India level”.

The Railway ministry has grand plans for the 11th plan period that includes two freight corridors, high speed rail, and metro rail in several areas and it has a budget of Rs 251,000 crores. While none of these high flying plans (2 freight corridors, high speed rail segments and metro rails) are in Orissa, we are not in a position to rue over that; rather we request that while the rest of India marches forward with 2 freight corridors, high speed rail segments and metro rails during the 11th plan, KBK and other adivasi areas of Orissa and India be not left behind. The particular lines we are referring to are:


1) Khurda – Balangir

2) Gunupur-Theruvali

3) Lanjigarh Rd – Bhawanipatna – Junagarh – Nabarangpur- Jeypore – Malkangiri – Bhadrachalam Rd (Andhra Pradesh)

4) Talcher – Bimlagarh

5) Bangiriposi -Gurumahishasini and/or Buramara-Chakulia.

6) Badampahar-Keonjhar

Often the Railway ministry and Railway board has labeled some of the pending lines in these areas as unprofitable and has given them such a low priority that at the current rate of funding (annual allocation less than the inflation) these lines may never be completed.

While the railways calculation may show these lines as unprofitable; they are not unprofitable if one considers how much Indian Railways earns from these areas. For example, the ECOR GM Shri Surendra Singh Khurana in his Independence Day address (available at while talking about ECOR, said: “With only 4% of the track of Indian Railways, we cater for about 12% of total loading of Indian railway and about 7% of total earning of IR.” In regards to profitability, for the 2003-2004 and 2004-05 the working expense as part of gross earnings of the ECOR zone is the second best at 66.64% and 61.75% respectively. The profit making zones in those years were South east central (62.8% and 56.1%), ECOR (66.64% and 61.75%), North central (76.33% and 66.71%), Central (80.29% and 82.48%), South eastern (81.24% and 83.51%), South Central (85.72% and 83.62%), West Central (80.99% and 84.08%), South Western (91.35% and 86.15%), Western (93.21% and 90.85%), Northern (91.08% and 92.89%) and East Central (93.65% and 98.9%). The loss making zones were: metro Kolkata (247% and 264.38%), North Eastern (151.93% and 160.88%), Northeast Frontier (147.98% and 159.45%), Eastern (161.3% and 152.84%), Southern (118.55% and 120.79%) and North Western ( 106.26% and 104.98%).

So, if the Indian Railway is making 7% of its earning from ECOR and a much higher percent of its profit from ECOR is not it unfair to give only 4% of its track to ECOR? This means profit and revenue from ECOR is being ploughed into rest of India. Nothing wrong with that per se, except that the part of ECOR that is neglected is the most backward part of India, and has a high tribal percentage. Some of these tribals, without proper connectivity, risk their lives and travel on the roof of freight trains. Does India and Indian Railways want to take money and investment away from the tribal and backward areas to enrich its metro residents?

Dr. Singh: Is that the India of your dreams? Is that the equality and inclusiveness that you talk about in your speeches?

We don’t think so!

Perhaps this has not come to your notice. Perhaps your current planning commission has not brought this to your notice. It is our sincere request that you look at this issue and include in the 11th plan the completion of the earlier mentioned lines and the establishment of a few rail factories in the backward and tribal areas of India, possible 1-2 in the KBK districts.

(Additional data points are in the attached document.)


Chitta Baral