Yet again, Odisha had to face the apathy from the Centre, as the Railway Budget 2013-14 had little for the state to cheer about. A select group led by Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat had met the Railway Minister in New Delhi earlier this month to press Odisha’s demands, but in vain.
Odisha had demanded Rs 3,050 crore, but got just Rs 869 crore. Although the allocation was more than what the state got in 2012, it was still not enough to cater to the needs of the state.
Odisha got six new trains: Bhubaneswar – Hazrat Nizamuddin Express (Weekly) Via Sambalpur, Howrah – Chennai AC Express (Bi-weekly) Via Bhadrak, Duvvada, Gudur, Puri – Sai Nagar Shirdi Express (Weekly) Via Sambalpur, Titlagarh, Raipur, Nagpur, Bhusawal, Puri –Ajmer Express (Weekly) Via Abu-Road, Tirupati – Bhubaneswar Express (Weekly) Via Visakhapatnam and Visakhapatnam – Jodhpur Express (Weekly) Via Titlagarh, Raipur.
In addition, four trains were extended – Bhubaneswar – Bhawanipatna Express to Junagarh, Lokmanya Tilak (T)-Bhubaneswar Express to Puri, Guwahati-Ernakulam Express to Thiruvananthapuram and Puri-Darbhanga Express to Jayanagar. Frequency of Sambalpur-Hazoor Saheb Nanded Express was increased from 2 to 3 days.
Odisha failed to get any DEMU and MEMU trains in this budget. However, a Railway Skill Development Centre will be set up in Koraput. Also, a Wagon Maintenance Workshop at Kalahandi and a Wagon Factory in Sitapalli in Ganjam got the final nod.