Lawyers Demand For Railway Connectivity From Berhampur to Sambalpur

Lawyers and several other members of over 10 bar associations of four districts – Ganjam, Kandhamal, Boudh and Sambalpur advocated for the construction of Berhampur Sambalpur railway line, in a meeting led by Bhajanagar Bar Association president Abhimanyu Gouda.

The Bar Association stated that places like Kandhamal, located between Ganjam and Sambalpur districts, remain under-developed because of no railway connectivity. The lawyers said the delay in the introduction of Berhampur-Sambalpur railway line exposes the apathy of Centre and State towards Sambalpur and Ganjam districts.

Things worsened when it was revealed that the East Coast Railway (ECoR) was permitted by the Centre to survey the laying of a railway line in 2010-11. In reciprocation, ECoR had submitted a 212-page survey report to the Ministry of Railways but the project is yet to be entered in the Pink Book of the Railways.

The survey report states the following:

• Railway lines are supposed to be 240 km long which has to be constructed

• The railway lines will connect the four parliamentary constituencies of Berhampur, Aska, Kandhamal and Sambalpur

• Sixteen new railway stations will be constructed between Sambalpur and Berhampur

• Five tunnels and 38 big bridges are to be constructed

This is not the first time that the issue of rail connectivity in Kandhamal district has been raised. MP Achyuta Samanta had also pleaded for the development of the same during the ongoing Lok Sabha session.

“The population of Kandhamal is dominated by Adivasi’s, with roughly 80% of them belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe. About 39 years ago, the then Prime Minister had promised to connect Phulbani, the administrative headquarters of Kandhamal district, by rail. Since then, various surveys have been conducted, but there has been no progress made. I request the Railway Minister to kindly take this issue up as it will benefit the constituency in many aspects,” said Samanta.

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