The agreement was signed for sharing cost of laying two new lines— Jeypore–Malkangiri and Jeypore–Nabarangpur— in Odisha which was approved in the last Railway budget.
The state government had agreed to partly bear the cost of these projects. For the Jeypore – Malkangiri project stretching over 130 km, it would bear 25% of the total cost whereas it would bear entire land cost and 50% cost of construction for the Jeypore – Nabarangpur project.
“Odisha is a focus state for Indian Railways. The speed of implementation of projects will take Odisha ahead in rail connectivity. Odisha has minerals, tourism potential, etc. But development is lacking due to lack of connectivity. State government alone cannot bring in connectivity. So Indian Railways is doing its part to improve the connectivity in Odisha. To improve the connectivity infrastructure in a particular state, Indian Railways is now forming joint venture with state governments which also includes Odisha. Sharing of ownership will lead to more leverage in creating connectivity in the state. 11 Railway stations including Bhubaneswar have been planned to be taken up for renovation . Indian Railways is planning to develop Odisha as a tourism hub through IRCTC. Indian Railways through its PSU, IRCTC has also planned to market products of tribal SHGs in Odisha. Indian Railways has also planned to open a Rail Factory in Kalahandi,” said Union Cabinet Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu
During the signing of the MoU,Union Cabinet Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister of State Dharmendra Pradhan, Odisha state Transport and Commerce Minister Ramesh Jena and MP Jhina Hikaka were present.