Bonai MLA lies down on railway track during ‘rail roko’ protest
Sundergarh: CPI (M) MLA from Bonai Laxman Munda on Saturday launched a unique protest by lying down on the railway track demanding completion of the much-awaited Bimlagarh-Talcher railway project.
Hundreds of CPI (M) activists under the aegis of Bimalgarh-Talcher Sangram Samiti staged rail roko protest at Bimalgarh and alleged inordinate delay in the execution of the railway project. The protestors led by Munda threatened to halt transportation of goods by the railway unless the rail project is completed at the earliest.
“Bonai is a tribal-dominated area. People living here are forced to visit Rourkela to catch trains. Students in the area are also facing considerable inconvenience while visiting far off places for study,” said a protestor.
The agitators alleged that delay in acquisition of land by the State government and inadequate allocation of funds by the Centre has adversely affected the project.
According to sources, the railway line was the five-decade-old demand of the residents and the project was sanctioned in 2003-04.
The residents believe if the railway project is commissioned, it will enhance communication and helps in development of the area.
Similar rail roko protest was also organised at Panposh railway station today.
As per reports, of the total requirement of 2,088 (approx) acre land for the railway line project, only 466 (approx) acre have been acquired so far. Moreover, of the 289 km project, works on only 39 km have been completed so far.
The estimated cost of the project is about Rs 1,928 crore. With a route length of 149 km, the project envisages to reduce the distance between Rourkela and Bhubaneswar by about 347 km against the present distance of 462 km.