New Delhi: A delegation of ruling BJD MPs, led by parliamentary party leader in Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahtab on Wednesday met Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at Sansad Bhawan in New Delhi and demanded to expand jurisdiction of the East Coast Railway (ECoR) to cover all parts of Odisha under one zone to create three new divisional headquarters.
The MPs submitted a memorandum to Goyal highlighting the State’s demand and urged him to look into the demands at the earliest.
Earlier on February 16, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Goyal reiterating State’s demand to unify the entire State under one zone of East Coast Railway (ECoR).
He had urged the Union Minister to create three more railway divisions in Rourkela, Jajpur/Jajpur-Keonjhar Road and Rayagada under the ECoR for better delivery of services in the State in terms of both meeting the requirements of the large and medium freight customers, the aspirations of amenities for the people and also in expediting the project work.
ECoR was made functional in April 2013 with three divisions at Khurda Road, Sambalpur and Waltair.
Under the proposed Rayagada division, the State Government proposed to cover the Nuapada-Gunupur with the proposed extension to Theruvali/Rayagada, Rayagada-Titlagarh-Raipur, Koraput-Rayagada, Koraput-Jeypore-Jagdalpur-Kirandul, Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh and proposed lines in Malkangiri, Koraput and Nabarangapur.
The State also demanded to bring Jharsuguda-Barsuan-Kiriburu and Rourkela-Nuagoan and Jharsuguda-Himgiri by creating Rourkela division under the ECoR.
Jharsuguda-Barsuan-Kiriburu is currently under south eastern zone while Rourkela-Nuagaon and Jharuguda-Himagiri runs under south east central railway.
Goyal was also urged to extend the ECoR jurisdiction to Banspani-Padapahar, Rupsa-Bangiriposi and Bhadrak-Laxmannath Road sections under the new Jajpur/Jajpur-Keonjhar Road division.
The State has intensified its demand after the Railway Ministry considered a proposal for setting up of a new Railway Zone, headquartered in Andhra Pradesh, which has lost the zonal headquarters of south central railway, Secunderabad.