Published On:January 25 2017
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Land hurdles derail Bimlagarh-Talcher railway link project in Odisha.

Land acquisition hurdles in Angul and Deogarh districts continue to delay the 149.78-km Bimlagarh-Talcher railway link project. This has led to apprehension that the authorities concerned may have to return unutilised fund of above Rs. 150 crore.

Reliable sources in the East Coast Railway (ECR) informed that 43.5 km of private and Government land has been acquired in Angul district except for six kms in Biru and Seepur villages.

For next 43.5 km to 60.5 km, covering 18 villages, finalisation of Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study report is pending in Angul collectorate since October 2016. Owing to it, notification under Section 11 (A) of Land Acquisition Act is getting delayed and if not completed by March 15, the money allotted for land acquisition may have to be returned.

Moreover, the requisitions for acquisition of private land from 60.5 km to 149.78 km have not been cleared as record of rights (ROR) copies and trace maps of the by-plots of six villages under Pallahara tehsil of Angul district and nine villages of Barkote tehsil in Deogarh district are yet to be furnished.

The ECR has also applied for alienation of Government land from 43.5 km to 83.5 km in Angul in two phases in November 2015 and June 2016. As no fresh land can be acquired, work is underway in patches at several locations, they added.

It is targeted to open the railway line from Talcher to first station at Sunakhani, a 20 km stretch, in March. But, hurdles like non-clearance of housing structures coming in the way of alignment are yet to be cleared as locals are opposing the road-over bridge location at Talcher-Gurujang. Moreover, shifting of the power line at MCL in Talcher is also another problem area, the sources stated.

Meanwhile, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram lambasted the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD Government for the delay in land acquisition. He said, the Chief Minister is not serious in expediting mega infrastructure projects in Odisha and only indulges in politics of lashing out at the Centre.

His request to the Chief Minister in November 2015 to simultaneously start the rail line work from Sundargarh side was ignored as a special Land Acquisition Officer has not been appointed so far.

The new rail line of 149.78 km through Angul, Deogarh and Sundargarh districts would reduce the distance between Rourkela and Bhubaneswar to 347 kms from the present 462 kms via Sambalpur.


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