A part of the under-construction line of Paradip-Haridaspur rail project caved in near Dumuka village in Marshaghai block on Wednesday night. Though no injuries were reported, houses of three families near the area suffered damages. Ramesh Behera of Dumuka blamed the railway officials for the incident. He said the line is being laid by not filling earth properly as a result of which a major portion of it is on the verge of collapse.
MD of Haridaspur-Paradip railway line project Prasant Kumar Mishra said earth filling work on the 150-metre that caved in, was undertaken two weeks back. Terming it a minor mishap, he said reconstruction of the damaged patch is going on in full swing. The 82 km railway line from Haridaspur to the port town of Paradip covering Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts is likely to be completed in March this year. After the project is over, the first goods train will roll out from Kendrapara district.
Mishra said 90 per cent of the project including installation of signboards, telecommunication systems and construction of a railway level crossing, has already been completed. As many as 31 bridges along with 171 minor ones have been built over canals and other water bodies for the project, which was sanctioned in 1996, primarily to facilitate export of finished products of steel plants and imported coking coal from Paradip to industries. The Kalinga Nagar industrial hub and the mining belt of Jajpur and Keonjhar districts will benefit the most from this rail link that will connect them to the port.