STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Rourkela, 3 September
A delegation of the non-political Rourkela Development Steering Committee (RDSC), which recently went to New Delhi and met Central ministers, said “it is the state more than the Centre which is neglecting Rourkela city and this region”.
The statements of the RDSC members comes as a severe blow to the government as it is the first non-political body to expose how projects have been elayed due to ineffectiveness of the state government rather than neglect by the Centre.
The apathy of the state government is loud and clear, remarked Mr Subha Pattnaik, convenor of RCDS who led the delegation which met Central ministers and bureaucrats on issues pertaining to infrastructural development of the region.
Mr Subha Pattnaik and members of the RDSC said their discussions with Mr Oscar Fernandes, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Mr Sis Ram Ola, Minister for Labour and Employment and Chairman Railway Board was an eye opener in many respects.
After meeting the central ministers and the bureaucrats we found that the solution to all our problems rests with the state government while the Centre is more than willing to take up our cause, informed Mr Pattnaik. The state government is responsible for the delay in several road and railway projects, said RDSC members, lamenting that till date the state government has been passing the buck to the Centre.
Mr Pattnaik said the four lane of the NH 215 and NH 143 and the construction of the second Brahmani Bridge parallel to the existing one have been languishing because the state government has failed to acquire land for the purpose. Funds sanctioned by the Centrewill lapse unless the work is completed and utilisation certificates are given, he said. Another instance of callousness by the state is the long delayed Talcher-Bimlagarh railway link, which would link Rourkela with Bhubaneswar, said Mr Pattnaik. “Land acquisition for this crucial rail link remains neglected by the government. Railway sources told us that the state government is not showing desired interest in completion of the project,” said Mr Pattnaik.