Bhubaneswar: Terming the interim rail budget as a "big disappointment" for Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday asked the people of the state to give a befitting response to the UPA government at the earliest opportunity.
"This is a big disappointment. We had requested the Ministry of Railways to allocate Rs 4,000 crore for various projects in the state but in the interim railway budget for 2014-15, no specific provision about any project of Odisha has been indicated," Patnaik said.
Claiming that the state was giving more than Rs 14,000 crore per annum as revenue to railways, Patnaik said "the Centre has once again meted out step-motherly treatment to the state." He said the people of Odisha will remember this "neglect" in railway sector and give a befitting response at the earliest opportunity.
Patnaik pointed out that the state had demanded 31 new trains against which, only one new express train and two passenger trains have been announced. In view of the funds crunch of the railways, Odisha government had come forward to finance 50 per cent of the project cost and provide required land free of cost for the remaining work of the Khurda-Bolangir line, he pointed out.
Similarly, the Chief Minister said, in case of the two ongoing SPV projects like the Haridaspur-Paradeep line and the Angul-Sukinda line, Odisha government has committed to providing 26 per cent capital. "But in the current Vote-On-Account, nothing has been specified about any of these projects. The same goes for construction of a modern station at Bhubaneswar," he said.
This apart, Patnaik said there was neither any mention about the wagon factory in Ganjam district, which was announced three years ago in the rail budget, nor on the Kalahandi project for which the state had made a request.