"The nature of industrial activities in the state requires a robust and well planned railway infrastructure for its sustainability," Patnaik wrote to the prime minister ahead of the Railway budget and sought his favourable consideration towards the state.

Stating that the railway route length and rail density in Odisha is well below national average as also substantially lower than that in neighbouring states, Patnaik said, in contrast gross earnings from various stations in the state of Odisha is estimated to be in excess of Rs 14,000 crore during the year 2013-2014.

Patnaik in his letter said, "I would request you to kindly ensure allocation of a sizeable part of the revenues generated from Odisha within the state itself for strengthening and expanding rail infrastructure".

"The central government has initiated many ambitious projects like dedicated freight corridor aligned with mega industrial hubs, national road expressways and high speed train projects which appear to have completely bypassed Odisha although some of the country's largest investment in the steel, aluminium and power sectors are coming up here," he pointed out.

Noting that the Odisha government has taken important steps to create greenfield ports which will be the country's gateway to international maritime trade as well as for coastal shipping between the east and west coasts of India, Patnaik said, "I have been requesting the Ministry of Railways to put in place a time-bound Infrastructure upgradation arrangement for the ports coming up on the Odisha coast."

A synchronised development plan between the ports and related rail connectivity is a necessity for maximising economic gains, he said.

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