The Center has nominated the 142 km Bargarh Road-Nuapada Road railway via Padampur and the 16.5 km Talcher to Angul railway as Special Railway Projects.
The Bargarh Road-Nuapada Road project was one of the main issues during the Padampur by-election last December. While BJD had urged the center to approve the project, Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw had assured the people of western Odisha that they would comply with their request.
On July 30, 2021, the center halted the project on the grounds that it was not operationally justified. However, Odisha Rail Infrastructure Development Limited (ORIDL), a joint venture between the Government of Odisha (51 percent) and the Ministry of Railways (49 percent), identified the project for development.
New line will reduce travel time to capital: Bargarh MP
Later, the Odisha government agreed to fund the land costs for the project. Vaishnaw had informed the Rajya Sabha that the proposal would be accepted for consideration. Towards the end of 2021, the Ministry of Railways gave approval in principle to start pre-investment measures for this new line project.
Ahead of Padampur’s by-election last year, Trade and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu wrote to the center demanding approval of the new Bargarh Road-Nuapada Road line. She accused the center of not taking into account the demands of the people.
Bargarh MP Suresh Pujari said the project will solve many problems of people in his region. “It can reach tourist spots like Nrusinghanath Temple while connecting Bargarh and Nuapada. These places will also attract more tourists and followers,” he added. He said the project is the dream of people from his area. This railway line will shorten travel time to Raipur and Bhubaneswar and boost business, Pujari said.
The center has also registered the new Talcher-Angul line (16.5 km) as a special railway project. Sources said the new Y-link rail line at Talcher will reduce traffic congestion. Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the new Talcher-Angul line will boost freight transportation, including coal, from Angul to various industries.