Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jena lollypop for Orissa, July 27, 2008

Kalyan Coomar Jena knows that Oriyas are satisfied with small things.

So predictably the much hyped Orissa visit of the Indian Railway Board Chairman has yielded only lollypops, feel infrastructure experts.

Mr.Jena known for his bureaucratic mode of operations was happy to note that the State Government will form two committees to pursue the railways projects.

The Chief Minister, who being advised by his mandarins runs the show proposed for the committees to be headed by Chief Secretary.

The Chief Secretary is heading more than 50-plus committees and no body keeps track of the committees, said an insider.

Indian Railway will now have more excuses and can accuse the state more about this and that, feel leading NRO Professor Chitta Baral.

Also, the co-ordination committee, headed by the Chief Secretary itself will get influenced by the Bureaucracy of the Indian Railways, apprehend he.

Mr. Jena's statement on Khurda Rd - Nayagarh - Balangir line is very wishy-washy.

What is needed that a firm commitment from Indian Railways that this line will be completed during the Eleventh plan.

Nothing was said about Talcher - Bimlagarh line which would bring areas in the tribal district of Sundergarh closer to the capital and make Rourkela and Bhubaneswar much closer.

It seems, as always, we are sacrificing the interests of the adivasis and backward areas of KBK districts.

With the recent Maoist mayhem in those areas, the state government should have demanded fast track connectivity to the areas of Gajapati-Rayagada-Malakngiri-Nabarangpur.

Out of box thinking is needed now, said an infrastructure consultant.

As the Chairman Railway Board said that investors are unwilling to invest at Barang to develop it as a World class railway station, which raises doubt in the minds of the people of Orissa.

Few days ago the experts of Chinese delegation visited Barang and rejected the idea to develop it as a world class station.

Now the Railway Board Chairman says the investors are not willing to invest.

The moot question is when the Railway Board invited proposals from the investors through an international bidding asked an expert.

No such steps were taken by the Railway Board, said he.

Then how come the Chairman says the investors are not willing to fund the same.

The State Government, which is more influenced by the bureaucracy can not dream big, so we will have only pea nuts, lamented an insider.

He said Orissa is now having huge investments on IIT, NISER and 2 World Class Universities.

Have ever the bureaucrats dreamt about it; never.

It is only the civil society and leading NROs raised the voice for which Orissa achieved the unbelievable in the higher education sector.

Similarly the rail connectivity issue has to be harped repeatedly at the level of Prime Minister and Planning Commission level, which will yield positive results, said he.

Setting up a committee or two will not yield big results, feel the experts.

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