Odisha: With major cities in India getting center’s nod for metro rail project, Odisha to expects to get connected. Professor KC Panda, President of Gandhinagar Senior Citizens’ Forum has requested central government to connect cities of Odisha with metro rail.
Professor Panda hopes that his state receives grant for setting up metro rail network. He thinks the network will do wonders in connecting seven principal towns like Puri, Cuttack, Khordha, Brahmapur, Bhubaneswar, Rourkela and Sambalpur. He feels the need of the hour is to offer mass transport facility at affordable cost to the people of Odisha too.
The president of the senior citizen forum has further urged elected representatives as well MPs of the state to put forth the demand. Panda feels that they should pressurise the centre to allocate funds for their state to start metro network.
Funds if allocated can be used to connect major cities via metro rail in next 10 years. Panda has also sent a request to Chief Minister to prepare and submit a comprehensive long term plan for metro rail.
Panda thinks all MPs and state government should collectively work towards bringing metro to the people of Odisha.
As per the recent data there are 10 India states where metro rail linking projects are going on. These include Delhi, Telangana, Karnataka, West Bengal, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and UP.
On the other seven other states metro rail project is planned. These states are Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, J&K, AP and Uttarakhand.
Panda asserted that given the data it is clearly indicative that 17 states in India have got metro rail service. Or some or the other metro service is being planned expect Bhubaneswar.
Professor Panda has also requested central government to relax few criteria for setting up metro projects. This includes rethinking on the population limit while considering metro project. He also said that the centre should re-consider its announcement on metro rail policies that stated that they will not offer financial support to new metro project. These projects will only be funded if private partnership is worked out.
As it is clear that metro rail is central government subject. All metro projects in India, be it within one municipal area or beyond is expected to be taken up under the Central Metro Acts. Metro construction in India is governed by the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978.
Why Metro rail linking in Odisha?
Professor Panda giving daily commuting figures shares that nearly 3-4 lakh people daily travel in the route Brahmapur-Khordha-Puri-Bhubaneswar-Cuttack-Sambalpur-Rourkela.
He says that metro rail network can be planned in this network in six phases. This can be as follows:
- Cuttack to Bhubaneswar (1st phase),
- Bhubaneswar to Khurda(2nd phase),
- Khurda to Puri (3rd phase),
- Khurda to Brahmapur (4th phase),
- Bhubaneswar to Sambalpur (5th phase)
- Sambalpur to Rourkela (6th phase)
The network if set up can help approximately five million people commuting daily. This also includes floating visitors who come to town as there are several tourist destinations on route as well.
Prof Panda also suggest that state government can allocate fixed amount from state budget for metro railways in keeping with future requirement.