Safety Checks on newly-laid Puri-Sakhigopal section commences

Railway engineers on Friday examined the newly-laid tracks between Puri and Sakhigopal. Safety Commissioner Sudarshan Nayak along with the DRM/Khurdha Road Division of East Coast Railway travelled to Puri in a train comprising three bogies on the day and later inspected electrification, signal systems, interlocking mechanism and other safety measures on the tracks.

The testing work will continue for three days. Passenger trains will run on the new tracks after the Safety Commissioner issues required safety certificate.Earlier, the ECoR had announced to ply passenger trains on the new tracks from July to facilitate transport service to Puri in view of heavy rush of pilgrims during the Rath Yatra and Nabakalebar festivals.Source said besides 50 regular trains, 150 special trains would ply to Puri during the festivals.

BJD leader urge CONCOR to subscribe the equity of Posco from Haridaspur-Paradeep Railway project

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader and Member of Parliament Baijayant Panda has urged Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to direct the Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) to subscribe the equity of Posco from Haridaspur-Paradip railway project.

The South Korean steel major had provided Rs.27.5 crore as paid up capital for land acquisition for this project. After withdrawal of the company, the Centre is reportedly in talks with CONCOR to buy the 10 per cent equity of Posco in the project.

A special purpose vehicle (SPV) was formed in 2006 to expedite the project and Posco was a part of the SPV, christened as Haridaspur-Paradip Railway Company Limited (HRPCL). Rail Vikash Nigam Ltd (RVNL) holds a major share of 48.43 per cent in the SPV.

While two Central PSUs __ Paradip Port Trust and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) are part of the SPV, the State Government’s Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (IDCO) is one of the shareholders.

Jindal Steel Private Limited, Essel Mining and Industries Limited, Rungta Mines Limited and MSPL are the other partners in the SPV and all of them have business interests in the State.

The railway project was crucial for the development of industries and boost socio-economic growth of Kendrapara district, Panda said, adding that it will also solve the traffic problem on Chandikhol-Paradip Expressway.

Murder attempt on Senior RVNL Officer’s life in Odisha; ARSS Chairman arrested

Police said Subash Agarwal, Chairman of ARSS, a listed company, allegedly hired two youths to fire at Ajay Kumar, joint general manager of projects at RVNL

Bhubaneswar (BBS): A murder attempt in broad daylight on senior railway official working in Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) Mr.Ajay Kumar in Bhubaneswar on Saturday has created a flutter among officers working on crucial projects.

Kumar, who is working as Joint General Manager with RVNL is engaged on the 100-km Angul-Sukinda rail line project in Odisha which is a priority for the NDA government.

“Kumar was attacked as he noticed financial irregularities by an influential local contractor working on the project. The attack was to intimidate him and also to demoralize others,” a senior colleague of Kumar in RVNL said.

The incident once again highlighted the problems faced by honest and bright officers in the current set-up.

When contacted, RVNL’s CMD Satish Agnihotri said, “Kumar is a very honest officer. We are getting full support of the state government.”

In his complaint , Mr. Kumar had named ARSS chief as the person behind the attack.“We have come across many incidents which had direct links with the current attack. ARSS is a contractor in the Angul-Sukinda railway project. The Railway Joint GM had slapped fines on ARSS for not adhering to project parameters. Mr. Agarwal had bullied Mr. Kumar in the month of February last,” Satyabrarata Bhoi, Deputy Commissioner of Police, said.

Another official said, “The Angul-Sukinda project is being executed by Woodhill-Hillway JV which has sub-contracted the work to a local contractor — ARSS Infrastructure Project Ltd.” Police has arrested Chairman of ARSS Ltd Mr.Subash Agarwal for masterminding the attack on Kumar.

Kumar was fired at by three bike-born unidentified assailants while he was going to his home in Shree Vihar at about 2 pm yesterday. He, however, escaped unhurt as the bullets fired missed him and hit his car instead.

“Sir was going to his residence in Shree Vihar at 2 pm when three men stopped his car (OD-02-T-9163), and opened fire at him. But fortunately, he escaped unhurt,” Tribikram Paikaray, driver of Kumar, had told media persons yesterday.

He had also informed that the goons had asked Kumar to go back to his native place in Bihar.

Kumar, who stays at 6th Avenue in Shree Vihar in Chandrasekharpur, however, had not commented on the incident.

“Agarwal engaged the goons who shot at Kumar,” commissioner of police R P Sharma said. The attackers are yet to be arrested.

Police said Agarwal had been trying to settle scores with Kumar, who found fault with the company’s work. “Kumar looks after the quality of work of the Angul-Sukinda broad gauge project. He detected poor quality of work by ARSS and slapped penalty of over Rs 21 lakh on the firm in the last one-and-a-half years,” Sharma said.

Agarwal denied the charges. “I am not involved in the firing on the RVNL officer. The allegations against me are baseless. I have been falsely implicated in the case,” he said.

“In February this year, Agarwal visited Kumar’s office and warned him of dire consequences if he did not stop imposing fines. He even asked Kumar to take transfer to Bihar. Though Kumar did not bring the matter to our notice, he discussed the matter with his senior officers and sought action against ARSS,” Sharma said.

The company, which was incorporated in 2000, is a growing construction firm in the country, focusing on construction of highways, buildings and rail projects. The company has completed 80 projects across the country with contract value of over Rs 700 crore.

Mr.Agarwal, a graduate in commerce from Berhampur University, is the founding member of the ARSS with an experience of 20 years in the execution of railway and road projects. The group has business interests in real estate, steel and power and cement. The company has also executed many projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gramya Sadak Yojana and also projects of the central public works department and the state public works department.

Based on circumstantial evidence and the recent hostility between Agarwal and Kumar, police raided the businessman’s house in Nayapalli and arrested him. Police said they faced a tough challenge from Agarwal’s security men and family members, who were not ready to allow the cops to enter the house.

The Angul-Sukinda rail line is a key infrastructure project aimed at faster movement of iron ore from Keonjhar-Bansapani belt and coal from Talcher belt through an alternative route. It will also provide rail connectivity to around 100 villages.

Key Features of the Project
State : Odisha
Districts : Angul, Dhenkanal & Jajpur
Length : 95.165 km + 7 km for ‘Y’ connection (Total – 102.165 km)
Principal Commodities : Coal & Iron – Ore
Year of Sanction : 1997-98
Original Cost : Rs. 245 Crores
Updated Cost
(incl electrification)
: Rs. 1202.70 Crores (Last updated)
Authorised Share Capital : Rs. 600.00 Crores
Key Financial Indicator (KFI) : As per study done by M/s Feedback Infra Pvt Ltd., New Delhi
Expenditures (Provisional) upto 31.03.2015 : Rs. 157.14 Crores (Provisional)
Roadbed Works : 1. From Km 19 to Km 47
2. From Km 0 to Km 19 and Km 47 to Km 97
Private Land : 1205.501 Acre
Govt Land : 222.505 Acre
Forest Land : 350.566 Acre
Major Bridges : 37 Nos (Longest Bridge: Br. No. 12 on Brahmani river – Length – 959.70 Meters) Click to See Details
Minor Bridges : 179 Nos
No. of Stations : 11+2 Nos (for Y Connections)
Road Over Bridges : 25 Nos
Road Under Bridges : 34 Nos
Level Crossing (Manned) : 5 Nos
Level Crossing (UN-Manned) : 4 Nos
Linking Track : 120 km

Paradip Port to develop Rail Siding & build Warehouse at Balijhara on DBFOT basis to handle finished Fertilizers

Paradeep (PRDP): Paradip Port, in order to cater to the future growth in traffic, has decided to undertake Development of Railway Siding and Construction of Warehouse at Balijhara, Paradip Port for handling Finished Fertilizers, through Public Private Participation (“PPP”) on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (“DBFOT”) basis for an Optimal Capacity (in MT per Annum) of 2.5 MT at an estimated project cost of Rs.71.66 Crores.  Approximately 15 Bidders are in the race to respond to the RFP floated by Paradip Port Trust during January, 2015 which was extended for submission on 18th May, 2015.  The process is intended to carry out the bidding process for selection of the bidder to whom the Project is to be awarded.

The successful Bidder will be announced by the Paradeep Port Trust after completion of the bidding process in terms of Technical and Financial Bids evaluated by the Tender Committee.  The Tender Committee will examine the technical capacity, financial capacity, O&M capabilities of the Bidders and submit its recommendations/proceedings for acceptance of the Competent Authorities.  The successful Bidder may be awarded Concession by Authority to implement the Project shortly.

The Concessionaire shall be responsible for the design, engineering, financing, procurement, implementation commissioning, operation, management and maintenance of the Project under the Concession Agreement (CA) to be executed by the Concessionaire and the Authority.

The scope of work will broadly include construction, designing, engineering, financing, procurement, implementation, commissioning, operation, management and maintenance of Warehouse & Railway Siding for handling finished fertilizers also also increase the import traffic of finished fertilizers for defined concession period.

The Concessionaire shall be entitled to levy and charge a pre-determined user fee from users of the Project.

51 held for setting Coach afire; Railways loss estimated Rs.2.5 Crore; Railways to take stern action

Coach set on fire by mobDelang (DEG): Even as the Government Railway Police (GRP) on Sunday arrested at least 51 persons for torching a coach of Puri-Barbil/Paradip Express, Friday’s mob fury at Delang Railway Station has cost the Railways a staggering Rs 2.5 crore or even more.

All the arrested persons belonged to Sanagualipur village of Delang. SP of Railways Sanjay Kaushal said they will be produced before the court after verification of their involvement in the incident. Charges under Indian Penal Code (IPC) for destruction of public property, rioting and arson will be pressed against them. Provisions under the Railway Act will also be slapped, he added.

 On Friday, the mob had gone berserk after the death of a youth who had fallen off a train the previous  evening. The locals were demanding stoppage of the Puri-Barbil/Keonjhar Express at Delang.

Sources said the rioting and arson have put a huge cost on the ECoR property which is still being assessed. While a coach costs more than Rs 1.25 crore, the mob also damaged the station master’s cabin, reservation room, while the signalling and communication equipment were laid to waste. The route line interlocking system suffered serious damage. The incident may have inflicted a direct loss of over Rs  2.5 crore on the Railways.

“The Railways must make public the loss suffered by such incidents since these are public property and affects large sections of the society. Eventually, people pay for it through taxes,” said a senior government officer.

The mob also damaged furniture at Delang station. The locals are demanding stops at Delang and Kanas Road station. At least 3 fire tenders were deployed to douse the fire. Police also had to lathicharge to disperse the mob.

The mob also damaged furniture at Delang station. The locals are demanding stops at Delang and Kanas Road station. At least 3 fire tenders were deployed to douse the fire. Police also had to lathicharge to disperse the mob.

Direct losses apart, the consequential losses are even more. Sources pointed out that since a number of trains were controlled, short-terminated and cancelled because of the incident, there was a serious disruption of train traffic. As a result, affected passengers may also file claims.

 “There is a need to send out a strong message that railway property cannot be destroyed and Odisha Police must take stern action against those who vandalised the property to ensure that,” said an officer.

Land Hurdle Continues to Delay Khurda-Balangir Railway Line

Balangir (BLGR): The successful trial run of trains in a stretch of 32-km on Khurda Road-Balangir line on August 31 last year had raised hopes of completion of the project soon. But, the project continues to hang fire with land acquisition posing as a major hurdle.

The railway line which will pass through Khurda, Nayagarh, Boudh, Sonepur and Balangir districts would require construction of 11 tunnels measuring 6.3 km, around 435 bridges including a 660-metre bridge over river Tel besides culverts and other constructions.

Though the State Government had assured the Centre of providing the land free of cost, the acquisition process for the 289-km rail line has hit a road block.

As yet, only land for laying train tracks on 22 kms has been acquired in Balangir district while not a single inch of land has been acquired in Boudh district which has a lion’s share of 122 kms. However, in neighbouring Nayagarh district, land has been acquired from Raj Sunakhala to Nayagarh.

After connecting Khurda Road with Begunia in the first phase, work on the 46-km stretch to Raj Sunakhala was to be completed by March 31 this year and the 66-km stretch till Nayagarh has 2015-16 financial year deadline. But meeting the deadline now seems to be remote considering the slow pace of work.

As per official reports, the budget of the project which was estimated at `4.98 crore after the initial survey has shot up to a staggering `2,000 crore as it witnessed low budgetary provisions in Central Budgets and issues of land acquisition.

The rail link was first surveyed in 1945 by the then Bengal-Nagpur Railway (BNR) administration which found the route important as it connected most backward undivided districts of Balangir, Kalahandi, Koraput and Phulbani with Bhubaneswar. Smaller towns such as Daspalla, Banigochha, Manipur and Boudh were also part of the line.

Cuttack-Barang Doubling: Cancellation of Train will be notified soon

Cuttack (CTC): Due to operational reasons, the safety related modernisation work between Cuttack and Barang Stations has been kept in abeyance now and the new programme of the said work will be notified soon.

As a result, 18414/18413 Puri-Paradeep-Puri Express , 22810 Visakhapatnam-Paradeep Express, 22814 Paradeep-Santragachhi Express, 22813 Santragachhi-Paradeep Express scheduled to leave Santragachhi o­n 31st March (Tuesday) and 22809 Paradeep-Visakhapatnam Express including 58406/58405 and 78507/78508 Paradeep-Cuttack-Paradeep passenger trains declared earlier as cancelled are hereby resumed.

Malgodown traders oppose Railways eviction notice

Cuttack (CTC): Opposing the eviction notice issued by East Coast Railways to traders of Malgodown, the Cuttack Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on Thursday organized a protest meeting.

The traders decided to meet chief minister Naveen Patnaik and chief secretary soon and apprise them of their plight. Besides, the chamber would also seek support of all MPs of the state to pressurize the railways to cancel the eviction notice. “We have sought appointment for the CM’s meeting. A delegation will meet him and tell him about our problem,” said joint secretary of CCC Srikant Sahoo.

“The Malgodown, the state’s biggest wholesale market, in is existence since 1866 and over 800 traders are doing business here. If evicted, we will sustain huge losses because we have our godowns and shops the malgodown,” said Sahoo.

The railways have issued notices to the traders to vacate the land by March 31 as it has some expansion plans. The railways owns the 25-acre Malgodown land since 1925 and it has been issuing license to the traders to do business . The traders pay a rent of Rs 4 to Rs 5 a sq ft to the railways. “It is shocking that railways has denied to renew our license and has given a short period of only 15 days to vacate the land. It is impossible to vacate the land within March 31,” said Madhusudan Rout, another trader.

The traders have threatened to stage an agitation if the eviction notice is not stopped. “We are not denying that the property belongs to railways. The government should provide alternative place to us to do business before evicting us,” added Sahoo. Over 30,000 people, including traders, workers and labourers, earn their livelihood from Malgodown that witnesses a daily trade of over Rs 150 crore.

ECOR slaps Notice on Illegal Encroachments of Railway Land at Malgodown in Cuttack

Cuttack (CTC): The Millennium City is soon going to be shorn of a slice of its history with the Railways serving a notice for take-over of the land on which Malgodown, the largest commodities market of the State, now stands.

Hit by the ultimatum served by Khurda Road Railway Division of East Coast Railways (ECoR) for vacating the land by March 31, the traders have approached district administration for intervention in the matter. The traders have sought alternative arrangement for setting up a new marketplace before they are evicted from the present land.

A delegation of Cuttack Chamber of Commerce (CCC) on Monday met Collector Nirmal Chandra Mishra in this connection and pleaded his help in stalling the vacation order until alternative arrangements are made. The meeting decided to set up a high-level committee to examine the extent of occupation of Railway land by Malgodown as well as identify a suitable location in and around the city for shifting the market.

“There have been plans for identifying land and shifting Malgodown to it after creating proper facilities. The process would be expedited now,” Mishra said.

The traders are, however, in a state of dread as there is little time in hand. With more than 850 trade establishments comprising wholesalers and semi-whole wholesalers, Malgodown, which was established in 1866 after the Great Famine, is the lifeline for more than 25,000 people including traders, workers, labourers and transporters. It sees daily trade transactions to the tune of `100 crore and supplies commodities to markets across the State.

“The Railways has been issuing licences for trade operations here since 1925. Now it has served the notice stating that there would be no renewal from 2015 and has asked us to vacate the land. The sudden action will not only affect traders and those depending on Malgodown for livelihood but also have a serious impact on entire commodities supplies in Odisha,” secretary, CCC Srikant Sahoo said.

The traders’ body is also set to approach the court against the notice

Odisha Ministers express displeasure over Delay in starting Sitalapalli Wagon Factory

बेरहामपुर Berhampur (BAM): Four years after the Centre announced setting up of a Railway wagon factory at Sitalapalli surrounded by Berhampur Tehsil in Odisha’s Ganjam district, the groundwork is yet to begin.

Even though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Railway Ministry to expedite the work several times, there has been no progress. The then railway minister Mamata Banerjee announced construction of the factory in her budget speech in 2011-12, said former Rajya Sabha member Renubala Pradhan.

The project was to be implemented on public private partnership mode and the ministry had sought 100 acre from the state.

The district administration has earmarked 101 acre in the area. The selection of the site for the project has already been conveyed to the ministry, official sources said.

“Besides dispatching letters to railway ministers. I discussed some of the state projects, including the Wagon factory, with the then railway ministers Dinesh Trivedi and Pawan Kumar Bansal,” Pradhan said.

“They have only kept the project alive in the budget by allocating a meagre amount due to our persuasion,” she added.

Higher education minister Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi, who represents Gopalpur, expressed displeasure over the delay in starting the project, which comes under his constituency. Sitalapalli is situated near Jagannathpur Railway station.

Establishment of the wagon factory assumes significance as Tata Steel is setting up an industrial park near the project  site, while all-weather Gopalpur Port is under construction nearby.

Kurdha Division evicts Encroachments in Railway Areas in Brahmapur

ब्रह्मपुर Brahmapur (BAM): Settlements at the railway track in the Bhakuri area of Behrampore were today allegedly demolished by Railway officials rendering a good number of poor settlers homeless.

The railway officials who were backed by armed security personnel engaged workers and machinery today to demolish bamboo huts, brick-built cottages and other structures located within the territorial jurisdiction of the railways.

The eviction drive was intended to clear the railway lands of encroachers for double-line works which are in progress at stretches between Plassey and Behrampore under Sealdah-Lalgola Section.

The evicted settlers claimed that they were not informed about the eviction, that was carried out in such an inhumane way, from beforehand.

Kajal Bibi, a housewife and a daily wager, resided in a small hut by the track. It was her dwelling that was demolished today. “I had taken a loan of Rs 50000 from my self-help group to construct the building. They broke it before my eyes. Where shall I live now?”

Kajal is not alone to live in the open in the chilly winter nights. A few hundred daily wagers like her, lost their dwelling houses today.

Raihan Mondal, a rickshaw puller said he had taken loan to the tune of  Rs.1 lakh from local money-lenders to construct his brick building. It was crushed during the demolition drive this afternoon.

Rokiya Bewa, a widow who manages her family by serving as a housemaid in the locality was in tears to narrate. “I have been staying here for last 30 years. There was dense jungle on both sides of the railway tracks. We then cleared the jungle to make the area fit for living. Now we lost our only house,” she said.

Another widow, Anwara Bewa who is a bracelet hawker also found her hut demolished. Her daughter, Monira Khatun said: “I am a student of Class VI at Chuanpur Vidyaniketan. My mother now feels very helpless. Where shall we go and how shall I continue my studies.”

Similar was the state of affairs that affected Bijoy Mondal, Naser Sheikh, Atul Sheikh, Samim Sheikh, Mousumi Bibi, Anwara Bibi and several others.  “I demand compensation from the railway authority. Now we do not have even a tarpaulin sheet to put up over our heads”, said Anwara Bibi.

The eviction drive was carried out today along the stretch between gate no. 128 and 129 near Behrampore Court railway station.

Doubling of Cuttack-Barang Line reaches final stage; will be ready by Jan-2015

भुवनेश्वर Bhubaneswar (BBS): More than 10 years after it was sanctioned by the Ministry of Railways, the doubling of Cuttack-Barang line reaches its final stages of completion. The 12-km double lining work has gone beyond schedule as contractors left the project mid-way. The delay has only added to the woes of traffic as the section witnesses heavy movement of trains, both passenger and goods.  With the number of trains increasing along with their frequency on East Coast Railway jurisdiction, the problem has only compounded in the recent past.

The Cuttack-Barang line was sanctioned in 2003-04 with an estimated cost of Rs 135 crore but the project lingered on. The Rail Vikash Nigam Limited (RVNL), which is implementing the project, finalised the tender in 2006 and the contract was awarded to three contractors – one each from Indonesia, Delhi and Odisha –  in 2008.

However, the contractors from Indonesia and Delhi left the project mid-way and work had to be stopped. With neither Rail Board nor RVNL giving any priority to the project, it got stuck. Although it was scheduled to be opened for traffic by September last, the expected date of completion has now been pushed to January 2015. Chief Project Manager of RVNL S.K.Patra admitted that abandoning of the work by the contractors led to a delay. He attributed it to ‘contractual litigations’.

“The project was being executed in a joint venture and there were some disputes following which RVNL terminated their contracts and issued fresh tender,” he added.While the double-lining work had started in 2008-09, the contractors abandoned the project after a year-and-a-half. This forced RVNL to float fresh tender in 2012.

Sources said, cumulative expenditure for the project now stands at Rs.216 crore. In the current year, at least Rs.17 crore has been spent. At present, the physical progress of the project is estimated at 85 per cent whereas the targeted date of completion has been fixed at December-end.

Work for five major and seven minor bridges has been completed while track linking of 11.5 km out of 12 km has been wrapped up.

Patra asserted that despite the delay, the project has not seen any cost escalation since procurement of materials had been completed. He said, work has reached the final stage and double-lining will be completed by January.

ECOR conducts Engine Trial on Delang-Sakhigopal Railway Doubling Line

Odisha: Engine Trial on Delang-Sakhigopal Railway Doubling Lineडेलांग Delang (DEG): The doubling of Railway line between Delang and Puri is going on at full speed. As a part of this priority project, the trial run by Railway Diesel Engine has been completed on 15th Sept-14 and the trial run has been found to be successful. As per procedure, the line has to be inspected by the commissioner of Railway Safety before it is opened for train operations. This inspection by Commissioner of Railway Safety is slated for October-2014. It may be noted that Ministry of Railways is laying a lot of emphasis on completion of the doubling upto Puri before Nabakalebar-2015. General Manger, E.Co. Railway, Sri Rajiv Vishnoi has congratulated the team from Construction of East Coast Railway and also advised them to finish the other works under progress as per targets laid down. The trial run was conducted in the presence of Sri R.P. Diwakar, Chief Administrative Officer and supervised by Sri Sankarshan Nayak, Chief Engineers and Sri Sudhir Parida, Dy.Chief Engineer.

Coal ladden Goods Train derails between Khurda-Berhampur section

जगन्‍नातपुर Jagannathapur (JNP):  Train services from Khurda to Berhampur were hit on Thursday as two wagons of a goods train got derailed.

A coal-laden goods train running from Talcher to Simhadhri got derailed near Jagannathpur near Chhatrapur in Ganjam district on Thursday forenoon, which resulted in disruption of train services between Ganjam and Chhatrapur stations, sources said.

The coal-laden train while going to Visakhapatnam slowed down near Narasinghpur-Jagannathpur railway station, around 10 km from the city, due to excess load and rain. Such trains normally have two engines, one at the front and another at the back, the station master said.  Since this train was overloaded, two compartments derailed while the train was pushed by the rear engine. The train guard, LM Narayana, who sustained injuries was admitted to Chhatrapur Hospital and later shifted to railway hospital in Andhra Pradesh.

As a track at the Narasinghpur-Jagannathpur railway station was blocked following the mishap, trains like Superfast Express from Villipuram to Kharagpur was detained at Berhampur railway station for over three hours.

A wagon of the goods train slipped off the tracks; however the drain driver showed enough presence of mind to apply brakes immediately, which averted a major accident. Several trains including Howrah-Chennai Mail were detained midway and were running late on the route as tracks were not cleared. However, East Coast Railway officials and engineers immediately rushed to the spot and worked on war-footing to resume normalcy, railway sources said.

Manager of the railway station, Durga Prasad Brahma, said at present all the trains are plying on a single track and running one to two hours late.

Take up Khurda-Balangir Railway line project on a priority basis: demands A.U.Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: Former minister and BJD Rajya Sabha member A U Singhdeo has appealed to the Centre to take up Khurda-Balangir railway line project on a priority basis as it will provide a link to the backward KBK region in the State.

Participating in the budget discussion in the Rajya Sabha, Singhdeo said the Khurda-Balangir railway line project announced two decades back has still not been completed due to lack of funds. This year also, only Rs.100 crore has been provided to the project in the Railway budget, Singhdeo said and added that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has decided to provide land free of cost and also bear 50 per cent construction cost of the project.

He said though allocation of Rs.1420 crore for Odisha in the 2014-15 Railway budget is more than last year’s provision, it is significantly less than the State’s demand of Rs.3,160 crore. As far as Railways are concerned, Odisha continues to be a neglected State, he said.

Singhdeo demanded that the recently announced Indian Institute of Management (IIM) for Odisha in the budget should be set up in Balangir in view of the economic backwardness of the area which would help boost the overall development in KBK region. He also requested the Centre to expedite the establishment of three new medical colleges in Odisha as announced earlier this year.

Singhdeo said the Centre should release funds earmarked under different schemes to States in a timely and adequate manner. During recent years, the Centre has been resorting to plan cuts which has adversely impacted fiscal health of the States and scheme implementation, he said.

Berhampur: Renovation of Platform nearing end

ब्रह्मपुर Brahmapur (BAM): Renovation and repair work of platform-4 in Berhampur railway station has reached final stage, said Chief Engineer of East Coast Railway Siba Prasad Samantaray during his recent visit to the city.

Samantaray said the damages caused by cyclone Phailin were repaired and a 21-day sanitation drive was launched to promote public awareness about cleanliness in the railway station.

Samantaray held a discussion with Railway officials on the construction of special entry and exit gates to the station and proposed to shift the existing cycle stand to adjacent railway land.

Samantaray asked the GRP and RPF not to allow parking at the entry points of the station. The ramp over bridge for physically disabled persons has been opened for use. After completion of the construction of platform-4, the ramp would be connected. He said steps to evict the encroached railway land has also begun.

Under the sanitation drive, samples of water were collected from the water taps inside the railway station and sent to departmental laboratory at Khurdha for testing, said Samantaray.

Meanwhile, fines were collected form seven persons for spitting inside the platforms, said Station Manager S Bramha.

Ruins of 1500 year old temple discovered in Kendrapara

हरीदासपुर Haridaspur (HDS): Ruins of a nearly 1500-year old temple have surfaced during digging for the Haridaspur-Paradip rail line project at Bhuinpura in Kendrapara district.

Labourers stumbled upon the summit structure (Dadhi Nauti) of the place of worship during earth digging work at the village coming under Bagada gram panchayat, District Culture Officer Golakh Chandra Behera said today.

The archaeologists of state archaeology department have inspected the site. The administration is yet to receive the report of their findings, he said.

The curator of state archaeology department S K Badu, however, said “we visited the site where the remnants of a Hindu temple were discovered. The department is examining the remains to ascertain its antique character. However our preliminary view is that the temple must be over 1500-year-old.”

The village where the chance discovery was made is situated in close periphery of the Luna river and it has a history of causing recurring flood. Thus there is possibility that the temple might have been destroyed by nature-induced devastation, he said.

Side by side with Hinduism, Buddhism flourished in large areas of Kendrapara under Bhaumakar dynasty. There is every possibility that Buddhist treasures might be discovered from the spot. There are plenty of instances in these areas where Hindus worshipped Buddhist divinities, claimed historian Harischandra Prusti.

Battery Vehicle operated at Bhubaneswar Station for Disabled, Old aged & Sick Passengers

Khurda Road खुर्दा रोड (KUR): East Coast Railway, Khurda Road Division has added a new passenger amenity item at Bhubaneswar station for the benefit of Disabled, Old Aged and Sick Passengers by providing a battery operated vehicle for them. The vehicle will operate round the clock. Disabled, Old Aged and Sick Passengers can avail the service free of cost. For availing the service, the needy passengers can contact over cell no. 88951-80738 which is available round the clock with the drivers.

The vehicle is sponsored by AapnoParivar, Bhubaneswar a social welfare organisation.

The vehicle was dedicated to the travelling passengers at Bhubaneswar station o­n date 31.03.2014 by Shri S. K. Singh, Divisional Railway Manager, Khurda Road in presence of Shri H. L. Luwang, Sr. Divisional Commercial Manager, Khurda Road and members of AapnoParivar. The general public has appreciated such noble effort that is designed to serve the Disabled, Old Aged and Sick Passengers.

ECOR conducts Mock Drills on Railway Accident

Raghunathpur रघुनाथपुर (RPR): With a view to alerting Railway Emergency staff, a Mock Accident Drill was organized at Raghunathpur station in Cuttack-Paradeep railway section under Khurda Road Division of East Coast Railway yesterday. As per the instructions of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) & High Power Committee of Railways to check the preparedness for Rescue operation during untoward incidents in Railway premises, the mock drill was organized without the knowledge of Railway emergency staff.

An alarm was sounded o­n the morning of 26thMarch that two coaches of a Summer Pilgrim Special have derailed at Raghunathpur Railway station in which many passengers were affected & there was loss of life & property to the passengers. More than 200 Railway staff & officers immediately rushed to the site and conducted the Rescue operation within a short span of time with the help of National Disaster Response Force of Mundali, Local Villagers, GRP, NGOs, etc.

The mock drill of rescue operation was directly monitored by Shri S. K. Singh, Divisional Railway Manager, Khurda Road. Sri J. Nagesh Babu, Sr. Divisional Safety Officer of Khurda Road Division coordinated the programme.

Sr. Divisional Commercial Manager Shri H.L.Luwang and other officers of Railways along with Shri M. K. Yadav, Commandant of National Disaster Response Force at Mundali also participated in the mock drill.

Staff of Mancheswar Workshop caught in Illegal scrap trade

Mancheswar (MCS): The Vigilance department of the Railways which is probing the illegal sale of scraps from the East Coast Railways carriage workshop at Mancheswar here said on Sunday that in the course of inquiry they have found four persons involved in the scam and that action will be taken against them after due process.

Acting on a tip-off, Railways Vigilance sleuths caught four persons red-handed while they were trying to supply GI pipes, ply pieces, 8mm rods, iron angles and other scraps in a truck.

Some persons, who are reportedly Grade-IV railway employees, were trying to help the vehicles loaded with scraps get exit permission through workshop gate during the ’free hours’, in defiance of all rules and regulations, Government Railways Police (GRP) sources said.

How this illegal activity had been happening inspite of the presence of a team of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) led by an inspector is something that the railways authorities need to explain, GRP sources said.

Reliable sources in the Railway Vigilance said they were interrogating a few RPF officials involved in the matter. They have also interrogated the driver of the truck used for the supply of scraps, the sources said.

“We will submit the probe report within a couple of days and then the authorities of the Railways will take action against the culprits,” said an officer of the Railway Vigilance department .

Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop ‘most productive’ among all 45 Workshops over IR

Mancheswar (MCS): Carriage Repair Workshop at Mancheswar has become the most productive among all 45 Workshops over Indian Railways. Among all parameters of efficiency of a workshop, like work output in terms of outturn of coaches and their overhauling, it has beaten all other workshops o­n parameters of productivity and efficiency. November 2013 saw the highest coach outturn of 153 coaches. Efficiency in overall coach outturn has gone up by 38%. Air-conditioned coaches have also seen an increase in outturn by 24%. Its standard capacity per month as per Railway Board norms is outturn of 100 coaches including 10 AC coaches per month. This Workshop has the lowest Staff strength among all Workshops.

This carriage Repair Workshop turned out its first coach in the year 1983. It has completed 30 years of dedicated service to the Nation. For its upgraded Quality Management System, this Workshop has been awarded the ISO 9001:2008 Certificate in August 2013. It is shortly going to achieve ISO Certification o­n Environmental Management and also o­n parameters of Health and Safety laid down in ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 Standards. A 2KWP Solar Photo Voltaic Plant has been installed as a part of promoting Green Energy in Workplace.

It is also under further capacity upgradation and machineries and Plant infrastructure is being strengthened. General Manager East Coast Railway Shri Rajiv Vishnoi has congratulated all staff of Mancheswar Workshop for their stellar performance and said that recognition of Railway Board regarding consistently excellent performance of the Workshop has been because of the dedicated work put in by all the staff.

O­n the occasion of completion of 30 years of the Workshop, besides upgradation of facilities for infrastructure, various welfare measures including improvement of Workshop office environment and Roads, Buildings, Colonies, etc. have been undertaken.

ECoR to complete Delang-Puri double line work before Nabakalebar festival`

Delang (DEG):  With the Nabakalebara festival only about a year away, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) is targeting to complete the Delang-Puri double line work well in advance.

General Manager of ECoR Rajiv Vishnoi, who reviewed the progress of the high-priority project, has asked the heads of departments to place infrastructure development on the fast track for early completion of the project.

The meeting revealed that contracts for earth work, major as well as minor bridges, electrification works for the double line have already been issued and works have commenced.

Earth works between Delanga-Sakhigopal and Sakhigopal-Puri are currently in progress. Similarly, work on major bridges have started and are in different stages of completion. Of 29 minor bridges in Delanga-Sakhigopal section, 26 have been completed while three are in different stages of completion, the meeting revealed.

Besides the doubling work, crucial ancillary activities like signal and telecom data log room and engineering goomty (covered shelter) near Delang are in full swing.

Similarly, a new booking counter, medium-level platform including platform shed at Jenapur, extension of existing three platforms, construction of foot over bridge (FOB), additional platform shelter, data log room, signaling and engineering goomty at Birapurusottampur have commenced too.

At Sakhigopal, new platforms, connecting road to station, remodelling of waiting hall, extension and remodelling of platform shelter and FOB at Sakhigopal including passenger amenities at different stations between Delang and Puri are also moving at a good speed. Apart from doubling work between Delanga and Puri, related project works such as upgradation of Puri, Khurda Road and Malatipatapur railway stations, road over bridges, limited height subways and Khurda Road station bypass for smooth train operations during the period are also being taken up. Vishnoi has asked his HoDs to ensure that these works are finished on time.

The General Manager said Ministry of Railways has assured of providing adequate funds in 2014-15 financial year for completion of the projects.

All related works for construction of the doubling project are underway in full swing and efforts are being made to complete the doubling work upto Puri well before Nabakalebar in 2015, he said.

Ganjam Wagon Factory yet to kick off

Brahmapur (BAM): Almost three years after the Railway ministry announced construction of a wagon factory in Sitalapalli in Odisha’s Ganjam district the project is yet to kick off.

Former railway minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the factory at Sitalapalli, about 20 km from here, in her Budget speech in 2011-12. Since then, it has been repeated every year in Budget speeches made by subsequent ministers. The project was to be implemented in public-private partnership (PPP) mode and the ministry had sought around 100 acre land for it. The district administration earmarked around 101 acre after a joint verification by East Coast Railway (ECoR) and district administration. After that, there has been no progress in the project.

On many occasions, chief minister Naveen Patnaik and others have urged the railway ministry to expedite the project but in vain. “Besides writing to the ministry every year before the Budget, I have discussed the matter with former Railway ministers Dinesh Trivedi and P K Bansal. They have done nothing except keeping the project alive by allocating some money to it,” Rajya Sabha MP Renubala Pradhan said. “The chief minister has taken up the matter with the Centre. We hope it may see the light of day before the coming general elections,” she added.

Unhappy over the delay, Gopalpur MLA Pradip Panigrahi said: “When the state government is ready to extend necessary support to the project, we do not know why the Centre is not keeping its commitment.”

Odisha to provide free land, bear 50% cost of Khurda-Bolangir railway project

The railway project will connect coastal Odisha with western districts

Khurda Road (KUR):  Naveen Patnaik government on Friday announced to provide land free of cost and bear 50 per cent of project cost for laying Khurda-Bolangir railway track, which was first announced two decades ago in 1994-95.

The railway project, which would connect coastal Odisha with western districts, has remained an important political issue with successive State governments often accusing the centre of neglecting the project.

In an apparent move to woo voters of western Odisha ahead of both the Assembly and the general elections, the government decided to make required land available to the Union Ministry of Railways. A decision in this regard was approved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday.

Besides, the Chief Minister’s Office issuing a statement hoped the decision of bearing 50 per cent of project cost would give much needed push to the project.

It said the State government had been drawing attention of the Centre for timely completion of the project, but low budgetary allocation in Railway Budget for the project had slowed down the pace of execution. It needs to be mentioned that the Union Railway Ministry had slashed Rs. 2 crore from original budget grant for the Khurda-Bolangir railway project during this financial year.

Of 289-km railway track, the distance between Khurda Road and Daspalla is 112 km, of which it is expected that work along 52 km would be completed in 2013-14.

“The project carries huge importance from the point of view of socio-economic development. The process of development would get boost in Bolangir, Boudh, Nayagarh and Sonepur upon completion of the project,” the government.

As per decision, the State government will bear 50 per cent of construction cost for laying railway track along 177 km between Bolangir and Daspalla.

The land required for this section would be provided free of cost. The Union government had already been intimated about the decision of the Odisha government, said the CMO.

It claimed that Khurda-Bolangir railway was Odisha’s biggest railway project and Odisha was first State in the country to provide free land and part-finance any railway project.

Rs.6 Crore for Expansion of Puri Railway Station

278404145Puri (PURI):  A meeting was held in the Secretariat chamber regarding expansion of Puri railway station under the Chairmanship of Maheswar Mohanty, Minister, Tourism, Culture, P&C, Law today. Divisional Railway Manager Sri Sailendra Singh, Chief Engineer Construction S.K.Nayak, Divisional Engineer P.K.Mohanty have apprised the Minister regarding the expansion planning of Puri railway station to attract and made convenient for the tourist coming to this international sacred place Puri.

Minister Mohanty emphasized on beautification of railway station by plantation and construction of small statue and fountains at the time of expansion. In this expansion more no of platform, public waiting room, railway quarter, roads, etc will be constructed within a budget of 6 crore. This was the demand of the public since long.

Railways not neglecting Odisha: Adhir

Puri (PURI): Asserting that Railways was not neglecting Odisha, Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today sought its cooperation in infrastructure development and said doubling of Delang-Puri line would be completed before Lord Jagannath Nabakalebar festival in 2015.

“There is no truth in the allegation that Odisha is being neglected by Railways. We need the state government’s cooperation for development of rail network,” Chowdhury said at a function organised during flagging off of Puri-Ajmer Express from here.

Referring to ongoing projects in Odisha, the minister said the doubling work of the railway line between Delang and Puri would be completed before Nabakalebara festival of Lord Jagannath.

In addition, the railway stations close to the pilgrim town of Puri would be developed and beautified by improving various facilities for passengers, he said.

Quick removal of encroachments from railway land would facilitate speedy development of rail infrastructure for which state government’s cooperation is essential, Chowdhury said, adding that there should be joint effort by the Centre and the state government in this regard.

The Minister said Railways was passing through a financial crisis and rail infrastructure needed to be developed as per the needs of passengers.

Speaking at the function, state’s Tourism and Culture minister Maheswar Mohanty and local MP Pinaki Mishra accused Railways of neglecting Odisha despite earning good revenue from the state.

Puri-Ajmer Express, a bi-weekly train to run via Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, Titlagarh, Raipur, Nagpur, Bhushawal, Surat and Abu Road, would start its regular run from Puri from December 30 and January 3 from Ajmer, sources said.

The 18421 Puri-Ajmer bi-weekly Express will leave Puri at 2125 hrs every Monday and Thursday and arrive at Ajmer at 2100 hrs on every Wednesday and Saturdays.

In the return direction, 18422 Ajmer-Puri bi-weekly Express will leave Ajmer at 1600 hrs every Friday and Tuesday and will arrive at Puri at 1845 hrs on every Sunday and Thursdays, they said.

In today’s inaugural run, the train which left Puri this evening will arrive at Ajmer on December 24 and in return direction, this train will leave Ajmer on December 25 and arrive at Puri on December 27.

टूटा मिला रेलवे ट्रैक

Jajpur Keonjhar Road (JJKR) Khurda Division, ECOR झझारपुर : सकरी-निर्मली-लौकहा रेलखंड जर्जरावस्था के चरम पर है। गुरुवार को स्थानीय रेलवे जंक्शन के ट्रैक नं.4 की पटरी 2 से तीन फीट में दो जगह टूटी पाई गई। अगर अपसाईड काटा वाला कर्मी शिव कुमार महतो सतर्क नहीं होता तो वहां शंटिंग कर रहा इंजन दुर्घटनाग्रस्त हो जाता। गुरुवार सुबह करीब सात बजे इंजन चार नं. लाईन से होकर ही पाच नं. लाईन पर जाने वाला था। अपसाईड काटा कर्मी श्री महतो ने पैट बदला कि उसकी निगाह ट्रैक के टूटे स्थल पर चली गई। उसने तुरंत स्टेशन अधीक्षक, यातायात निरीक्षक सहित अन्य को फोन किया। आनन फानन में अभियंताओं की टीम आई और पटरी बदलने के प्रयास तेज किए गए। हालाकि इस घटना से रेल यातायात प्रभावित होने की जानकारी नहीं है। यहा यह बता दें बीते चार दिन पूर्व भी इसी जंक्शन के नवटोल गुमटी से पीछे शटिंग के दौरान ही एक इंजन के चार पहिये बेपटरी हो गए थे।

Demand for Berhampur-Phulbani Rail link – Motorcycle rally taken out by local Sangram Samity

Brahmapur (BAM): A motorcycle rally was taken out in the city on Friday by ‘Relapatha Sangram Samity, Kandhamal-Ganjam’ demanding railway link between Berhampur in Ganjam and Phulbani in Kandhamal district.

This rally started from First Gate area and travelled through different areas of the city to reach the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), southern division.

Talcher MLA arrested for opposing the resumption of Railway Sidings

Talcher:  Police today conducted preventive arrest of the  the local MLA Braja Kishor Pradhan  and 48 contractual workers  for opposing the resumption of two railway sidings of Bhubaneaswari coal mine here.

Contractual workers who were working in these two sidings for several years were retrenched by the new contractors evoking the protests. The aggrieved workers led by MLA stopped the sidings since last two months. Coal transportation remained paralyzed during the period.

Today ,when the new contractors went to the spot with help of police force to resume the loading of coal on rakes ,the workers and MLA opposed.

Sensing trouble, the police arrested MLA Pradhan and took him to the colliery police station while others were taken to the Deulbera institute by police.

Describing his arrest as arbitrary, Pradhan said he was fighting for the cause of poor labouers who were deprived of bread and butter by the new contractors.  He condemned the police action.

Police sources said they had picked up Pradhan and his supporters to avert a clash between new workers and those who had been retrenched. The stalemate prevailed when workers demanded to continue the job there and the contractors refused to take them.

Meanwhile supporters of MLA Pradhan paralysed work in the entire Talcher coalfield area protesting against the arrest. Production and dispatch of coal was affected. Stray cases of violence was reported from nearby Bharatpur and Laingaj coal mine areas.

Odisha CM urges Railway Minister special Budget Provision for Khurda Road Bye-pass line

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urges Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge to sanction special Budget Provision for Khurda Road Bye-pass line. CM Patnaik wrote a letter to Union Railway Minister on this regard.

CM Patnaik on his letter said that, “You are aware that the Nabakalebar festival of Lord Jagannath will be celebrated during July,2015. A large number of special trains will be required to be operated to Puri in order to facilitate mass movement of passengers during this festival. It was indicated by the East Coast Railway officials during a review meeting that unless a ‘bye-pass line avoiding Khurcla Road junction’ is constructed, it will be difficult to manage running of extra trains during this period. It is understood that East Coast Railway has submitted a proposal for the bye—pass line of 1.3 kms. costing Rs.16.87 crores which has not yet been approved by the Ministry of Railways. Keeping in view the importance of this work, I would request you to ensure that necessary budget provision is made and immediate steps are taken for constructing this line on top priority.”

CM Patnaik on his letter said that, “Secondly, completion of Delang-Puri doubling works of Khurda-Puri Section may also be completed well before Nabakalebar. Incidentally, I have already drawn your attention in this regard vide my D.O. No.UM— 59/2012/113/CM., Dated 28.07.2012.”

CM Patnaik requested Mallikarjun Kharge to take necessary steps for expeditious implementation of the above projects on priority basis to ensure timely completion well before Nabakalebar Festival, July 2015.

In another letter CM Patnaik urges Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge to implement proposal to set up Wagon Manufacturing Unit(WMU) at Sitalapalli, Ganjam, Wagon Maintenance Workshop in Kalahandi and Skill Development Centre at Koraput.

CM Patnaik on his letter said that, “Please refer to my D.O. letter N0.UM—6/11-51/CM dated 25.03.2011 regarding setting up of Wagon Manufacturing Unit (WMU) at Sitalapalli in Ganjam District wherein I had requested for taking expeditious steps to implement the project. Although the Ministry of Railways had announced the proposal for setting up of Wagon Manufacturing Unit at Sitaiapaili, Ganjam since 2010-11, no visible action has so far been taken for implementation of the project even though State Government has already offered suitable Government land to the extent of Ac.101.604 in the aforesaid village free of cost.”

CM Patnaik on his letter said that, “Proposals for setting up of a Wagon Maintenance Workshop in Kalahandi and Skill Development Centre at Koraput were also announced in the Railway Budget 2013-14. But no steps have been taken so far by the Ministry of Railways to implement these projects.”

Cyclone Phailin stalls Railway Network on ECOR

Bhubaneswar:  With uprooted high tension towers and signals, damaged platforms and tracks blocked by trees due to high-velocity winds of Cyclone Phailin in Odisha, East Coast Railways on Sunday said no trains were moving in Bhadrak-Khurda Road-Palasa-Vizianagaram sections.

While the up line signal of Ichhapuram station was uprooted, the overbridge and platform shelter at Brahmapur, Ganjam, Somepeta, Balugaon, Mancheswar and Khurda Road stations were either blown away or damaged, ECor Railway said in a press release.

With the wind speed of the cyclone gradually reducing, engineering, traction distribution and signalling and telecommunication staff have been kept in readiness to visit the affected spots by tower wagon and diesel light engines.

The overhead equipment at Khurda Road-Palasa was not functioning and an attempt to charge it had failed, the release said.

The overhead equipment at Cuttack-Paradeep and Barang-Khurda Road sections were also not functioning and tower wagons from Bhadrak and Jajpur-Keonjhar Road had already moved out to the sections, the release said.

Details of sectional damages can be assessed only after the relief team reports back,” it said.

High tension towers were uprooted at many locations in Khurda RoadBrahmapur section.

A large number of uprooted trees were lying on the track and overhead equipment, the release said.

The running of major trains between Kolkata and Chennai passing through Odisha would be affected due to these developments, ECoR sources said.

Rail users’ body meet highlights commuters’ hiccups

The inaugural Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC) meeting was held at Khurda Road.

Senior Divisional Railway Manager Sanjay Kumar Mohanty presided over it, while Additional Divisional Railway Manager MK Poddar and Senior Divisional Commercial Manager HL Luwang attended.

The DRUCC members presented various problems concerning the difficulties of the railway passengers coming under the East Coast Zone from Palasha to Bhadrak. Major demands like construction of railway line from Khurda to Bolangir, opening of new counters, halting of

various trains at various stations as per people’s demands, providing drinking water facilities to the passengers inside trains and opening up of medicine counters at the railway stations, among others, were discussed. DRM Mohanty opined that the East Coast Railway (ECoR) is facing constraints owing to single lines in most areas, including the one between Baranga and Cuttack stations.

These stations are going to be rejuvenated with double line system and the doubling of the railway line till Puri will be completed before the Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath in 2014. Commercial Manager Luwang said that there was an increase in loading of cargo by 14 per cent in 2010-2011, which further got augmented by another 20 per cent in 2011-2012.

This year also the railway loading in the ECoR Zone is going to be further burdened by another 20 per cent, he said. The Railway is facing difficulties in land acquisition owing to court cases. Efforts are on to maintain a high degree of cleanliness in the railway station, he added. ECoR officials, representatives of MPs, State Government and cooperative and chambers of commerce participated. The DRM declared that the intoning of the signal system will be provided soon which will hasten up the speed, progress and movement of the ECoR.

Khurda Road DRUCC meet highlights commuters’ hiccups

The inaugural Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC) meeting was held at Khurda Road.

Senior Divisional Railway Manager Sanjay Kumar Mohanty presided over it, while Additional Divisional Railway Manager MK Poddar and Senior Divisional Commercial Manager HL Luwang attended.

The DRUCC members presented various problems concerning the difficulties of the railway passengers coming under the East Coast Zone from Palasha to Bhadrak. Major demands like construction of railway line from Khurda to Bolangir, opening of new counters, halting of

various trains at various stations as per people’s demands, providing drinking water facilities to the passengers inside trains and opening up of medicine counters at the railway stations, among others, were discussed. DRM Mohanty opined that the East Coast Railway (ECoR) is facing constraints owing to single lines in most areas, including the one between Baranga and Cuttack stations.

These stations are going to be rejuvenated with double line system and the doubling of the railway line till Puri will be completed before the Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath in 2014. Commercial Manager Luwang said that there was an increase in loading of cargo by 14 per cent in 2010-2011, which further got augmented by another 20 per cent in 2011-2012.

This year also the railway loading in the ECoR Zone is going to be further burdened by another 20 per cent, he said. The Railway is facing difficulties in land acquisition owing to court cases. Efforts are on to maintain a high degree of cleanliness in the railway station, he added. ECoR officials, representatives of MPs, State Government and cooperative and chambers of commerce participated. The DRM declared that the intoning of the signal system will be provided soon which will hasten up the speed, progress and movement of the ECoR. D

Leopard, sheep run over by train near Sompeta

Fatal chase:Over 350 sheep and a leopard which was hunting them were killed after being hit by a train near Anantapuram village of Sompeta mandal in Srikakulam district on Wednesday.

Fatal chase:Over 350 sheep and a leopard which was hunting them were killed after being hit by a train near Anantapuram village of Sompeta mandal in Srikakulam district on Wednesday.

The big cat was hunting sheep when the accident occurred

Sompeta (SPT): As many as 350 sheep and one leopard were run over by a train near Anantapuram of Sompeta mandal in the early hours of Wednesday.

According to locals, the villagers took the sheep on Tuesday night to the nearby agricultural fields as their dung was useful for cultivation.

All of a sudden, a leopard came from Mahendra Giri Hills and attacked the sheep, causing panic among them.

Many of them ran towards the railway track with the leopard in hot pursuit.

They met the gory end after being hit by a train.

Senior Forest and Revenue officials inspected the spot and interacted with railway officials and villagers to gather more information about the incident.

The officials asked the locals not to keep sheep in the fields at night as it would attract predators.