16 February, New Delhi
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday requested the Centre to consider expanding the jurisdiction of East Coast Railway (ECoR) to cover all parts of Odisha under one zone.
The Chief Minister also demanded three new railway divisions at Rourkela, Jajpur-Keonjhar Road and Rayagada under the ECoR to help the railways improve delivery of services.
“The expansion of ECoR has become a necessity in the light of the recent industrial projects (which are) coming up in Odisha to ensure better coordination and facilitation of bulk customers,” said the Chief Minister in a letter to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
He said a singular railway entity in Odisha would create a lot of synergy and reduce barriers in coordination as well as mobility, which was a major objective and need for the railways today.
“The proposed reorganisation will help the railways in better delivery of services in the state in terms of both meeting the requirements of the large and medium freight customers, aspiration of amenities for the people and also in expediting the project works,” he added.
The Chief Minister opposed the demand to take away the existing Waltair railway division (Visakhapatnam) from the jurisdiction of ECoR to facilitate formation of a new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh.
The central government is considering setting up a new railway zone headquartered in Andhra Pradesh, which lost the zonal headquarters of South Central Railway in Secunderabad.