In a reply, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishaw has told Sahu the project demanded by her was sanctioned in 2019 and a letter in support of ‘in-principle approval’ of the project was sent to the Odisha Rail Infrastructure Development Limited (ORIDL) way back on December 31, 2021. This means, the ORIDL has already been entrusted the responsibility of undertaking the Bargarh-Padampur-Nuapada railway project.
In her letter dated November 20, Sahu had requested Vaishnaw to sanction a new railway line between Bargarh and Nuapada via Padampur.
“You know ORIDL is under control of the Odisha Government. The Government of India had sent the in-principle letter to the ORIDL on December 31, 2021. This means, the ORIDL has already been entrusted the responsibility of the project,” Vaisnaw wrote.
The Union Minister also mentioned that the Odisha Government is now required to conduct a survey and make plan, assessment and land acquisition works for the project.
“The Railways Ministry now requests the Odisha Government to undertake survey and land acquisition works expeditiously for the project. I too request the Odisha Government to complete all works vis-à-vis Bargarh-Nuapada railway project coming under its purview on a priority basis,” urged Viashnaw.
He informed Sahu that the Government of India has allocated Rs 9,734 crore for railways projects in Odisha for 2022-23. The projects include renovation of 38 railway stations.
“In this situation, we request you provide support to steps taken by the Government of India for overall benefit of Odisha,” Vaishnaw urged Sahu.
Notably, the Government of India had in 2019 approved the 142-km Bargarh-Padampur-Nuapada project in 2019. The project also includes construction of 14 railway stations, including one at Padampur.
Meanwhile, the State BJP slammed Minister Tukuni Sahu for writing a letter for a project already sanctioned by the Union Government three years back.
“It is disappointing that Sahu is misleading people with wrong messages, while Padampur bypoll is round the corner,” said State BJP former president and MP Suresh Pujari.