Odisha got its highest-ever annual allocation in the railway sector on Thursday when railway minister Suresh Prabhu presented his maiden budget. For 2015-16, Odisha will receive Rs 2514 crore against its demand of Rs 3200 crore for construction of new tracks, gauge conversion, doubling, boosting of passenger amenities, improving traffic facilities, safety and electrification.
The allocation is 77% more than the two previous allocations as the state received Rs 1420.98 crore in 2014-15 and Rs 868.25 crore in 2013-14. “I understand there is 53% increase in the budget outlay of railways. Odisha has also been correspondingly given an increase in allotment. Further, due allocations have been made for our ongoing major projects like Khurda-Balangir, where State Government has committed to provide land free of cost and bear 50% of the project cost,” said chief minister Naveen Patnaik. The Chief Minister was appreciative of due weightage given to some of the traditionally neglected railway sections like Sambalpur -Titilagarh, Sambalpur -Talcher in the rail budget.