Bhubaneswar, Jan 21 (PTI) The Odisha government Monday wrote to the Centre seeking change in route alignment of the Balasore-Digha broad gauge rail project.

The project, sanctioned in 2011, has not kicked off yet due of land acquisition issues in neighbouring West Bengal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.

Of the 41-kilometre rail stretch, seven km is set to run through West Bengal and the rest through Odisha.

In his letter to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Patnaik assured him that the state will provide necessary support for acquiring land if the proposal is approved.

“As this important project in Odisha has been stalled for more than seven years, I would request you to kindly intervene into the matter and take an early decision to change the alignment so that the route may entirely pass through Odisha,” Patnaik said.

The chief minister also reminded Goyal that he had written to the prime minister, too, on a previous occasion with the same request.

In 2011, in a communication to the then PM, the CM had proposed that the route pass through Odisha, touching pilgrim and tourist sites such as Bhusandheswar, Chandaneswar and Talsari-Udayapur beach, before entering Digha in Bengal.

The alignment will not just help in boosting tourism but aid in improving socio-economic condition of the region, he had added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.