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Three-days after seeking a package of Rs 5870 crore in the 2017-18 railway budget, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday urged the Railway ministry to sanction a new line project from Gunupur to Theruvali. In a letter to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Patnaik said that the ministry has been surveying for establishment of a 76 km long new line between Gunupur and Theruvali for an alternative shorter route.
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Therefore, the Centre should sanction the line in the upcoming budget especially since it has provided a positive rate of return from 9.6 to 18.81 per cent, he said. Patnaik also urged the Centre to allocate funds for recommissioning of previously operational stations in Nuapada-Gunupur railway line which have been abolished after the line turned to broad gauge.
Though the stations were functional between Nuapada and Gunupur in the 90 km long railway line earlier, they have ceased to be operational thus curtailing passenger amenities at district headquarters Paralakhemundi and important trading town of Kashinagar both in the Gajpati district.
The Nuapada-Gunupur line, earlier a narrow gauge was upgraded to broad gauge in 1993-94. However, after its commissioning all the intermediate stoppages between the end stations, were annulled.
Besides, he also asked for new station buildings at Paralakhemundi, Gunupur and Kashinagar with adequate facilities.