The state government today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Railways for completion of the Daspalla-Bolangir segment of Khurda Road - Bolangir new broad gauge rail line.
The construction of the 177-km stretch will cost around Rs 2000 crore and the state government will share 50 per cent (Rs 1000 crore) of the cost. Additionally, the state government has also agreed to give land free of cost for the long delayed project. The land will be acquired in two years. The cost of land is estimated at Rs 355 core.
The project is expected to be completed in six years.
The pact was signed between Sanjay Rastogi, secretary (commerce and transport), Odisha and Ved Prakash Dudeja, executive director (works), Railways ministry in the presence of Suresh Prabhu, Railways minister, Ramesh Chandra Majhi, state transport minister and Niranjan Pujari, Odisha assembly speaker and chairman of the state assembly committee on Railways.
Out of the 289 km stretch, work on 32 km (Khurda to Begunia) has been completed. This stretch was inaugurated by Prabhu and chief minister Naveen Patnaik recently. The Ministry of Railways will bear the cost of remaining part of the Khurda Road-Daspalla stretch (80 km). At the inauguration of Khurda-Begunia rail line, Patnaik had said the state government would provide all possible support to the Railways ministry in the construction of rail route from Balangir to Daspalla by bearing half of the project cost and providing land free of cost.
In the Railway Budget for 2015-16, the ministry had allocated Rs 195 crore for the Khurda Road-Bolangir rail link.
"As the railway project is significant for connecting western part of the state with the coastal part, the construction work will be expedited with the signing of the pact", said Majhi.