Naveen questions Prabhu over shifting of rail wagon unit

Bhubaneswar, April 5 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday sought a clarification from Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu over shifting of the rail wagon maintenance workshop from Odisha’s Kalahandi district to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

In a letter to Prabhu, he said the recent media reports insinuating shifting of the rail wagon repair unit from Odisha to Andhra Pradesh is a matter of concern for the state.

“I hope that recent reports on the shifting of the Wagon Maintenance Workshop from Odisha to Andhra Pradesh are untrue and I would request a line of confirmation from you to assuage the feelings of neglect and hurt which people of Odisha have suffered,” he said.

Informing that the setting up of the wagon unit in Kalahandi district was announced in Railway Budget 2013-14, Patnaik said the state government had offered two patches of land measuring over 70 acres and over 44 acres. near Narla road station.

Patnaik also noted that while Railways have three large coach/wagon workshops in Andhra Pradesh, whereas Odisha has no wagon workshop. “For that matter, East Coast Railway, which is largely present in the State of Odisha and is the No.1 loading railway zone of Indian Railway, does not have a single wagon maintenance (POH) workshop. It is natural and logical that a Railway Zone that does more than 70 percent of its loading and unloading in Odisha require a maintenance workshop in the same state,” he said.

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