A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Ministry of Railways and Government of Odisha to form an SPV for Implementation of Railway Projects in Odisha in the presence of the Union Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha and Minister of State (Independent Charge) Department of Commerce & Transport Government of Odisha Shri Ramesh Chandra Majhi. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A.K. Mital, Board Members and senior officials of Railway Board and Government of Odisha were also present on the occasion.
In view of the growing demands for railway lines in various States and huge requirement of funds to execute them, Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu had announced in his budget speech about setting up of Joint Ventures with states for focused project development, resource mobilization, land acquisition, project implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects. Accordingly, an MoU has been signed today between Minister of Railways and Govt. of Orissa for formation of Joint Venture Company for development of Railway Infrastructure in the State of Odisha.
Speaking on the occasion Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that it is a welcome step and will go a long way in infrastructure development in the State of Odisha. Such JV companies will provide the necessary impetus for faster growth of railway network in various States including Odisha.
Shri Suresh Prabhu explained that Indian Railways has been playing a major role in national integration by connecting the remotest places and bringing people closer to each other. Railways receive a large number of demands for network expansion as a railway line acts as an engine of growth for the area it serves.
The State of Odisha, being a mineral rich state, has a special place in today’s economic scenario of our country and Railway is aware of its responsibility to cater to the needs of transportation of people and goods.
The Minister disclosed that Odisha got special attention since formation of the new government at Centre. We enhanced the outlay for development of network in Odisha, in 2014-15 (Rs 1073 cr.) by about 40 % as compared to 2013-14(Rs 754 cr.). This year, it has been further enhanced to 3 times (Rs 3310 cr. including EBRIF of Rs 2056 cr.) In 2014-15, 33 Km New Line and 32 Km Doubling was commissioned. In the current year, Railways has set targets for commissioning of about 150 Km of Network expansion projects, including 22 km New Line and 128 Km Doubling.
The Minister said that he is sure that with all stake holders coming to participate in infrastructure creation, this mineral rich state is going to see dawn of a new era of development.
Railways will continue its efforts to develop infrastructure in remote and backward area of the country. He said that infrastructure is a necessary tool for harnessing natural resources of any State and extension of Railway Line will speed up the development of State of Orissa and JV Company as well as Railways will reap the benefits of this development mutually.
In his address, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Department of Commerce & Transport Government of Odisha, Shri Ramesh Chandra Majhi said that signing of MoU today, is a land mark initiative and it will benefit Odisha and the Nation in a big way. He appreciated the efforts of Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu for initiating this concept of joint companies with respective state Governments. Shri Majhi said that Indian Railways and Government of Odisha will work together for the development of Railway infrastructure in Odisha.