Work on the proposed railway wagon factory at Sitalapali in Ganjam district of Odisha is yet to start, five years after the Centre announced the project.
Discontentment is brewing among the people due to alleged apathy of the railways.
The then Railway Minister Mamata Banarjee had announced construction of the wagon factory in her budget speech in 2011-12. Since then, every Railway minister announced the same every year in the budget without any ground work.
The proposed project is to be implemented on public, private partnership mode and the ministry had sought 100 acres from the state.
The district administration has identified 101 acres in the area. The selection of site for the project has already been intimated to the ministry, an official said.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has written several letters to the Railway ministers to expedite the project.
The ministry has kept the project alive by allocating meagre amounts every budget, BJD leader and former Rajya Sabha member Renubala Pradhan said.
State Higher Education minister Pradeep K Panigrahy, who represents Gopalpur, under which Sitalapali falls, has expressed displeasure over the delay in project work.
“When we are ready to extend all necessary help for implementation of the project, we don’t know why the Centre is not implementing it?” wondered Panigrahi.
The project is delayed due to lack of sincere efforts from the state government in mounting pressure on the Centre, said former Union minister and senior Congress leader Chandra Sekhar Sahu.
Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Speaker Rama Chandra Panda said he had already submitted memoranda to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway minister Suresh Prabhu in this regard.
Sitalapalli is situated near Jagannathpur railway station, 20 km from Berhampur.
Establishment of the wagon factory at Sitalapalli assumed significance as Tata Steel is setting up an industrial park near the site while the all-weather Gopalpur Port is being developed nearby.