DIRECTORATE OF RAIL COORDINATION
The Rail Coordination Directorate of the State Government has been coordinating between the State Government and the Ministry of Railways, Govt. of India. It has been instrumental in development of Rail infrastructure as well as passenger amenities in the State of Odisha. Rail Coordination Directorate functions independently under the umbrella of Commerce & Transport Department of Government of Odisha. This is headed by Commissioner Rail Coordination (CRC) & Special Secretary to Government.
Odisha is served by three Zonal Railways of Indian Railways, namely East Coast Railway (ECoR)/Bhubaneswar, South Eastern Railway (SER)/Garden Reach Kolkata and South East Central Railway (SECR)/Bilaspur. These Railways are headed by General Managers (GMs) and under them Railways are organised as Divisional units headed by Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs).
Rail Coordination department used to act as a bridge between the needs and requirements of Odisha with that of the far placed Railway Head Quarters of undivided SER at Kolkata. Over the years the role of this directorate has transformed from mere coordination to leading policy shifts for the economic and developmental needs of the State. Even though Railways is a central subject, Government of Odisha has adopted a very unique and forward looking strategy to help increasing the Rail density of the State, which has historically been lesser than the national average. The Rail Coordination directorate has played a significant role in shaping this policy of State coming forward to financially participate in Railway Projects and partner Indian Railways for the greater benefit of the State and its citizens. Post trifurcation of SER, the role of Rail Coordination directorate has attained even more significance.
Today, this directorate plays a leading role in aggregating the requirements and demands of Odisha on the Railway Budget and puts them for consideration at the level of Railway Board. This directorate also lends assistance to the House Committee of the State Legislature and helps issues to be addressed by Ministry of Railways.
Rapid Industrialisation of Odisha is an inalienable part of India’s growth story. Endowed with vast natural and mineral resources, the State of Odisha continues to be one of the most sought after investment destination with unabated interest by steel, aluminium, power, oil and cement companies. Government of Odisha has already prepared a comprehensive plan for orderly, systematic, sustainable and holistic economic growth by focusing upon infrastructure development and creating industrial corridors. In this context, the railways serve not only as important industrial infrastructure but also as critical linkages to spur socio-economic growth in the under-developed hinterland.
In the next decade, it is expected that additional rail borne traffic generation in Odisha will be in excess of a staggering 500 MTPA. In this context, the growing importance of rail infrastructure to sustain and power the emergent growth trend cannot be over emphasized. The present rail infrastructure in the State requires urgent and continuous up-gradation in order to handle this potential traffic.
While the State contributes more than Rs.15000 Crores approximately to the revenues of Indian Railways annually, the railway route length spread across Odisha is a mere 2500 Kilometers with an average of 15.03 kilometers per 1000 square kilometers as against the national average of 19.00 Kms. and much less than the average in the contiguous States of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. A big part of the revenue of East Coast Railways, which serves more than 70% of the State, comes from transporting coal, iron ore and other minerals from various mines in the rich mineral belts of Odisha. The Planning Commission in its report comparing development status of economic infrastructure of Odisha, vis-à-vis the country says: “However, it is most unfortunate that in a poor and backward state like Odisha, development of rail networks has received much less attention of the Central Government in the post-independence period”.
The role of railways as a low-cost, high-volume carrier of bulk cargo over long distances is the vital cog in the entire wheel of transportation, logistics and supply chain management in addition to providing succour to the travelling public. Since independence, only five B.G. rail links namely Cuttack-Paradip (83 Kms.), Talcher-Sambalpur (174 Kms.), Koraput-Rayagada (164 Kms.), Daitari-Banspani (155 Kms), and Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh (56 kms) B.G. rail link have been commissioned. Projects like Khurda Road-Bolangir (Sanctioned in 1994-95), Talcher-Bimlagarh (sanctioned in 2003-04), Doubling of Rajaathgarh-Barang (sanctioned in 1999-2000), Third line between Barang-Khurda Rd. (sanctioned in 2003-04), Doubling of Sambalpur-Titlagarh (sanctioned in 2006-07), Doubling of Titlagarh-Raipur (sanctioned in 2007-08) have been languishing and showing extremely slow progress due to inadequate allotment of funds and poor execution by Railway and its PSUs. The lack of rail infrastructure has been one of the main reasons for impeded socio-economic growth in Odisha and it puts undue pressures on its alternate infrastructure like Roads, thereby leading to many associated problems. Hence the accelerated growth scenario of the State requires substantial investment by Railways for completion of ongoing projects and sanction the proposed new projects as future of Indian Railways and emerging of Odisha’s growth story are inextricably interwoven. This is where the change in policy shift, led by Rail Coordination directorate, promises a transformation of the Railway map of Odisha.
Railway has been identified by the present Government as a Priority area and it has planned to have all 30 Districts connected with Railway in next 5 to 7 years. Even though Railway is not a State subject, the present State Government is finding new and unique ways to compensate for the past neglect to the State and to live upto the aspirations of its citizens. Till 2014-15, 7 Districts had no rail connectivity-: Nayagarh, Nawarangpur, Malkanagiri, Boudh, Kandhamal, Kendrapara, Deogarh.
The plans of Government of Odisha to connect these 7 are as follows:
- Nayagarh district got connected on 03-11-2015 by “Khurda Road -Bolangir Rail link” by getting commissioned upto Rajsunakhela . It will touch Nayagarh Town by March 2017. It will further connect Boudh district in year 2018-19.
- Haridaspur-Paradip Rail line likely to connect Kendrapara district in 2016-17.
- Talcher-Bimalagarh rail project will connect Deogarh District, likely by 2019.
Two new Railway projects sanctioned in 2016-17 Railway Budget with State financial Participation.
- Jeypore – Malkangiri will connect Malkangiri district
- Jeypore – Nabarangpur will connect Nabarangpur district
- State Specific Joint Venture has been signed by Govt of Odisha and Ministry of Railways on Dt.14.06.2016 and it will take up a new project of Berhampur-Phulbani-Sambalpur link, which will connect Kandhamal district with Railway map.
Partnership by the State Government – the MOU Route
One of the most important Railway New Line Projects is the one being constructed from Khurda Road to Bolangir, a 289 kms of new BG line. This line acquires greatest significance for the state as it cuts across the breadth of the State through Khurda, Nayagarh, Boudh, Subarnapur and Bolagir Districts. Three large districts of these 5 districts, namely Nayagarh, Boudh and Subarnpur, are getting connected by Railway Line for the first. This project was sanctioned by Railways in the year 1994-95 and yet till 2014 not a single new station could be connected or commissioned. And over and above that, Railways was not in a financially sound position to even sanction beyond Km 112, that is beyond Daspalla(112 km) to Bolangir(289 km).
Considering the socio economic impact of this railway line, Government of Odisha took a momentous decision to come forward on its own and offered to share 50% of Project cost beyond Km 112 that is between Daspalla to Bolangir, a line of 177 kms length. Not only this, Government of Odisha offered to give all land (Private, Government and Forest) free of cost to Railways. With these offers, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Ministry of Railways and Government of Odisha on Dt. 20.07.2015 which has paved way for a new model of Rail development in State. Now, with participation of State Government, Rail line has been opened between Khurda – Khurda town - Begunia- Rajsunakhala, approximately 42 kms that has touched Nayagarh district for the first time. Also construction from Bolangir end has started in December 2015 and the entire line is expected to be completed in 6 years, that is by May 2021.
- MCRL JV: For strengthening the freight lines and to help faster evacuation of Coal from State, a Joint Venture Company has been formed between Government of Odisha (IDCO), Ministry of Coal (MCL) and Ministry of Railways (IRCON), with equities of 10%, 64% and 26% respectively. “Mahanadi Coal Railway Limited (MCRL)” has been formed on 31-08-2015 by merging the “Brahmani Railway Company Limited” of Government of Odisha.
- HPRCL SPV: A new alternate line between Paradip Port and Haridaspur (between Cuttack-Bhadrak) of 82 kms, was sanctioned by Railways in Year 1996-97, was languishing for want of adequate fund. To expedite its formation, a Special Purpose Vehicle (Haridaspur Paradip Railway Company Ltd) has been created in which Government of Odisha has now got 22.5 % equity (Rs.114.8 cr) directly and a total of in excess of 33% equity along with other PSUs of the Government of Odisha. This line is connecting the hitherto unconnected and underdeveloped Kendrapada District to the Railway map of Odisha. It envisages to complete the Project by December 2017.
- ASRL SPV: A 90 km new line between Angul (Talcher) to Sukinda has been sanctioned in the year 1997-98 to reduce the distance between the two most important mineral belts of Odisha. As with HPRCL, this project also needed Government of Odisha to come forward and invest to make the SPV viable. Govt of Odisha with its PSUs is the highest equity holder in this company and pushing the project for an early completion.
- IPRCL SPV : To create a new Heavy Haul new line between Talcher and Paradip, Ministry of Shipping has formed a SPV named Indian Port Rail Company Ltd (IPRCL) with partnership with Ministry of Railways. Government of Odisha has given conscent to take 10% equity to make the SPV viable.
- State Specific JV: Government of Odisha initiated steps to form a JV with Ministry of Railways for formation of a JV company that would have the mandate to identify and construct new Railways lines as per the needs of the freight and passenger rail users. A MoU for Odisha was signed on 04-11/2015 and after the terms were negotiated a JV agreement has been signed by both parties (with Govt of Odisha with 51% equity) on Dt. 14.06.2016.
In the Railway Budget 2016-17, Projects of new line between Barhampur-Sambalpur (via Kandhamal); Junagarh to Ambaguda (via Nabarangapur); Badbil-Banspani and Barsuan-Narayangarh have been identified which can be considered through this JV company.
Khurda Bolangir New Line: (289 km, sanctioned in 1994-95)
East Coast Railway is executing the project, where Government of Odisha has pledged 50% of construction cost and free land between km 112 to km 289. Request Railways to give requisition on Forest land immediately to facilitate completion of project by Target of 2021. Railway should complete line between Rajsunakhala and Dasapalla in sync and must start work in full flow from Bolangir end where 19 kms of land is already handed over. First section between Bolangir-Bhainsapalli (16 kms) is targeted for opening in 2018. On the Khurda side, Rajsunakhala to Bolgarh is to be commissioned by June/July 2016 and then up to Nayagarh town by March 2017. Target of completion of the entire project is May 2021.
Paradip Haridaspur New line: (82 km, sanctioned in 1996-97)
This is one of the two projects which are being executed through the SPV route and Government of Odisha is an equity partner in the company. This line is connecting the backward Kendrapada District with main line. Project execution being done by RVNL, a Railway Ministry PSU and its performance is below par, despite all land for the project been acquired by state government and handed over. The initial target of completion was December 2016 but it has now been revised to December 2017.
Angul Sukinda New Line: (90 km, sanctioned in 1997-98)
This is the second SPV in the state and it links the two massive mineral clusters of Talcher (coal) and Sukinda (Iron Ore/Steel). This passes through backward and forest areas of Angul, Dhenkanal and Jajpur Districts. All land for the project has been acquired by the state and handed over to RVNL for construction. The entire length of project has got Forest Clearance. Execution being done by RVNL with Target of completion as June 2018.
Talcher-Bimalagarh (154 Km, sanctioned in 2004-05)
The Talcher–Bimlagarh Rail Link is an important one as it envisages to connect Deogarh district with the Railway network of the state. Once commissioned, this line will reduce the distance between Bhubaneswar–Rourkela to 308 kms (from its 440 km distance now), enabling one to travel between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela within 5-6 hours. This will bring together Odisha’s two biggest metropolitan centres having immense impact on economic triggers.
Sambalpur Titlagarh Doubling: (182 km, sanctioned in 2006-07)
RVNL, a PSU under Ministry of Railways, is executing the project. Despite being 10 years old, not much progress has been achieved in this project. The Target date has been postponed many times because of poor performance of RVNL and now it stands as December 2017, which also looks unlikely. Not a single section in this important project has been commissioned. This project passes through Sambalpur, Bargarh, Subarnapur and Balangir districts and its completion is going to give a fillip to the movement of Fertiliser and Foodgrain in this agriculturally important area of Odisha.
Sambalpur-Angul Doubling: (172 kms, sanctioned in 2010-11)
The original single line, when commissioned in 1998, brought together the Coastal areas and the Western Odisha together like never before. The route holds significance as it is also the shortest route between Bhubaneswar to Delhi. The doubling project is much needed as then the line can be utilised by Railways for running long distance trains between State and National Capitals via Sambalpur area. Apart from potential passenger trains, doubling is a dire need for handling the rising traffic of many industries situated in this part of the State, viz. Nalco, Jindal Steel and Power, Bhushan Steel, Sterlite Industries, Vedanata Aluminium, Hindalco etc.
Project is being executed by Construction department of East Coast Railways. Work is in progress in both the Talcher to Bamur (85 kms) and also the Bamur to Sambalpur (87 Kms) sections. One block section between Handapa & Boinda (7.5 km) has been commissioned on 12th January, 2016. Further, Sargipalli– Handapa (14 kms) is to be commissioned in 2016-17. The target for commissioning the entire project is December 2019.
- Total Outlay for Odisha for Yr 2016-17 is Rs. 4682 cr, against a demand of Rs 5000 crore, which is an increase by 30% from last year budget outlay. We appreciate the enhancement in outlay and request Railway Minister not to revise this downwards like last year. Last year actual allotment was 35% less than the original Budget allotment for Odisha.
- Govt of Odisha has been offering to bear Construction Cost as well as to give land to important projects for free. We thank Ministry of Railways for accepting our offer of partnership and sanctioning the two important long standing new line projects, such as Jeypore-Malkanagiri and Jeypore-Nabarangpur. State’s demand for sanctioning the other economically viable lines has been accepted by Railway minister and we are thankful for the sanction of Junagarh-Ambaguda via Nabarangpur; Barahampur-Sambalpur and Banspani-Badbil lines with partnership of State. Govt of Odisha also is thankful to Railways for extending the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) from Kharagpur to Vijayawada through the coast of Odisha.
- Though Odisha has been demanding a Rail based Mass Rapid Transit System for greater Bhubaneswar area, Railways has announced special projects such as Circular Railway for Delhi, 2 new elevated Sub urban lines for Mumbai and development of sub urban network for cities of Gujurat, TN, Karnataks and Kerala only. Considering the fact that Bhubaneswar has now emerged as the Number One Smart City in the country, we hope Railways can still include MRTS for greater Bhubaneswar area.
- Though 2 new Locomotive factories announced in Make In India Scheme, the already sanctioned Wagon factory at Sitalapalli (Ganjam District of Odisha) which was announced in 2011-12 has got only an absolute token provision of Rs. 1 thousand. We expect Railway to enhance this grant this year.
- A host of new Train Services have been announced under new schemes under Antodaya, Humsafar, Tejas and Uday. We expect Odisha to get its fair share of new trains under each of these schemes in the coming year.
- Govt of Odisha has pledged to redevelop Bhubaneswar Station with world class facilities and has been asking Railways for similar re-developments of Bhubaneswar New, Puri, Naraj and Katak stations. Though no station specific announcement has been made in Budget, Railways have announced for 400 stations to be redeveloped through PPP mode. We hope and expect important stations of Odisha are taken up under this scheme.
|Sl#||Name of Project||Length (Km)|
|3.||Junagarh-Ambaguda via Nabarangpur||145|
|8.||Narayangarh-Bhadrak 3rd line||155|
On Going New Lines
|Sl#||Name of the project||Allocation of Funds (Rs. in crores)|
|1.||Daitari-Banspani (Haridaspur-Jakhapura 3rd line)||12.87||12|
|2.||Khurda Road- Bolangir||240||195|
DOUBLING/ 3rd & 4th LINES
|Sl#||Name of the project||Allocation of Funds (Rs. in crores)|
|3.||Khurda-Barang 3rd line||1||32|
|4.||Vijianagaram-Sambalpur 3rd line (NEW)||225||-|
|5.||Koraput-Jagdalpur doubling (NEW)||120||-|
|6.||Sambalpur Talcher doubling||220||194|
|8.||Rourkela-jharsuguda 3rd line (NEW)||103||-|
|9.||Budapank-Salegaon 3rd line (NEW)||170||-|
|10.||Nirgundi-Vijianagaram 3rd line (NEW)||210||-|
|12.||Jharpada-Budapank Fly over (NEW)||180||-|
|13.||Bhadrak-Nirgundi 3rd Line||135||125|
The allocation of funds for New Lines, Gauge Conversion, Doubling, Passenger Amenities, Traffic Facilities, Road Safety/ROB and Electrification for 2016-17 is Rs 4682 Crore as against a demand of Rs 5000 Crore and allotment of Rs 3700 Crore in 2015-16.
|Year||New Rail Lines||Gauge Conversion||Doubling||Electri-fication||East Coast Railway||Total|