Centre approves Bargarh-Nuapada & Talcher-Angul railway projects

01 May 2023

On May 21, 2023, the Centre gave its official consent to the 142 km Bargarh Road-Nuapada Road railway line via Padampur, designating it as a special railway project. This announcement also included the approval for the 16.5 km Talcher to Angul railway line. The Bargarh Road-Nuapada Road project gained significant attention during the Padampur by-election in December of the previous year. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) had urged the centre to sanction the project, and the Railway Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, assured the people of western Odisha that their demands would be met.

Initially, on July 30, 2021, the Centre had put the project on hold, citing operational infeasibility. However, the Odisha Rail Infrastructure Development Limited (ORIDL), a joint venture between the Odisha government (51%) and the Ministry of Railways (49%), recognised the project's potential for development. Later on, the Odisha government agreed to bear the land costs associated with the project. Vaishnaw confirmed in the Rajya Sabha that the proposal was being examined. Towards the end of 2021, the Ministry of Railways granted in-principle approval to undertake pre-investment activities for the new line project.

According to Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari, this project will address various issues faced by the local population. He stated, "It can connect Bargarh and Nuapada, while also reaching tourist destinations like Nrusinghanath Temple. These places will attract more tourists and devotees." Pujari emphasised that this railway line would reduce travel time to Raipur and Bhubaneswar, thereby boosting business opportunities.

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