Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Ministerhan Dharmendra Prad has requested to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to set a date for formal inauguration of Paradip – Haridaspur railway line, in the present of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. In a letter to Goyal, Pradhan requested his personal intervention for starting a passenger train through this line soon. This will provide much needed connectivity to the people of Kendrapada district and facilitate economic development of the region, he said.
A day back, the Odisha CM had also written to the Railway Minister to commence passenger train service on this new line. The Paradip – Haridaspur new rail Line project has reached its final stage of completion and was scheduled to be inaugurated in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “This 82 KM rail link between Paradip and Haridaspur, passing through Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada and Jajpur districts, has been one of the most widely anticipated railway lines in the state since the sanctioning of the project in 1996 and laying of its foundation stone in 1999, under the leadership of former Prime Minister, Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” Pradhan’s letter read.
In the coming years, this rail line will help Paradip not only to be one of the most important energy and goods exchange points in the global value chain but also become an epicenter of activities driving Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar Bharat vision, he added. “Keeping in mind the historic importance of the Paradip – Haridaspur new rail line project for the development of Odisha and eastern India, Prime Minister’s commitment and drive to realise the vision of Purvodaya and the affection people of Odisha have for him, I would request you to solicit the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for a grand inauguration of the project on a suitable date,” said Pradhan.
He added that the railway line was accorded high priority status by the Prime Minister and its implementation monitored at the highest level through the PMO’s PRAGATI project review platform. This rail line represents the fulfilled aspirations of the people of the region and will be a harbinger of economic prosperity for the region. Pradhan expressed gratitude to Goyal for his personal interest in the swift completion of this long-pending critical railway project. “It is due to the efforts of your office and the Ministry that people of Odisha stand to benefit today from the launch of this crucial new rail line. I also want to thank the Government of Odisha for their commendable partnership and facilitation extended in ensuring prompt resolution of various land, law & order, clearance issues related to the project.”
The Paradip – Haridaspur new rail line connecting Paradip with Odisha’s heartland will be a monumental pathway for the development of the state. It will reduce the distance between Daitari & Banspani iron ore belt and Paradip port by half. It will also serve the important mining belts of Jajpur and Keonjhar. The Paradip – Haridaspur new rail line will provide a strategic advantage to India’s prime steel hub at Kalinganagar and its many associated downstream industries, comprehensively unlocking the massive potential for development in Eastern India envisioned under Prime Minister’s Purvodaya vision, he said.
“It is pertinent to note that Paradip Smart Port City is being developed as an epicenter of Eastern India’s ‘blue economy’ led growth with huge ongoing projects in logistics development, PM Urja Ganga Natural Gas pipeline, Indian Oil refinery expansion and creation of a petrochemical complex, Paradip plastic park etc. Today, Paradip is India’s largest port by container handling capacity and an important landmark on South Asian and South-east Asian ‘supply chains,” said Pradhan in the letter to the Railway Minister.