Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders boycotted a function held for the inauguration of five infrastructure projects by Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan in Bhubaneshwar on Saturday.

The Union Minister dedicated the Bhubaneswar New Railway Station, inaugurated a six-meter-wide foot over bridge, a new MEMU shed at Khurda, a PRS counter at Puri and launched a Rath Yatra Mobile App at the event.

Noting the absence of BJD invitees including Transport Minister Nrusingha Sahoo, Tourism Minister Ashok Panda, two BJD MLAs and MP Prasanna Patsani, all of whom were to share the dais, Pradhan termed it as unfortunate.

“The state government needs to cooperate with the centre for the development of Odisha,” he remarked.

Pradhan hoped that the state government would provide required land for a road from Nandankanan to the New Railway Station. The new station at Barang is 14 km away from the old one.

He pointed out that the Modi government had provided huge amount of money for railway development in Odisha.

“During the UPA regime Odisha was neglected, between 2004 and 2014 the railway budget allocation for the eastern coastal state was only Rs 4,190 crore whereas in the last four years it has received an allocation of over Rs 21,200 crore,” said Pradhan.

He stated that people of this area were in need of this new station, as Bhubaneswar City is expanding rapidly. Pradhan welcomed the introduction of new MEMU train between Puri and Angul and said that the people of Talcher, Angul, Cuttack, Puri and other areas will be highly benefitted with the new service.

He congratulated East Coast Railway for introduction of 184 special trains to run during world famous Car Festival, which is more than the last year.

General Manager, East Coast Railway Umesh Singh said that after operations begin at the Bhubaneswar New Railway Station, the congestion of train movement between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar will be overcome and it will be future Rail Terminal for some originating trains, which will help passengers in northern part of Bhubaneswar.