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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 April 2024

Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announces launch of Vistadome train services between Puri and Konark

The announcement came soon after Vaishnaw was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Odisha unopposed for the second time with the support of the ruling Biju Janata Dal

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 21.02.24, 08:26 AM
Ashwini Vaishnaw

Ashwini Vaishnaw File picture

Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday announced that the Sun temple of Konark will soon be connected with the pilgrim town of Puri by the railway network.

The announcement came soon after Vaishnaw was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Odisha unopposed for the second time with the support of the ruling Biju Janata Dal.

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Vaishnaw told reporters at Rail Sadan that there has been a long-standing demand to connect the Sun Temple of Konark with the Jagannath Temple in Puri by train. “The project has been sanctioned by the Prime Minister with a view to creating a spiritual, heritage and coastal corridor. The project will come up with a cost of Rs 492 crore. The work will start after land acquisition, We are hopeful that the state government will arrange the land for the project,” said Vaishnaw.

By announcing this new project, Vaishnaw has sent out a message that he will continue to work for the larger interest of the state. The BJD while supporting his candidature had said that it expected Vaishnaw, the minister for railways, communication and information and technology to work for Odisha’s development in the field of railways and telecom development.

Vaishnaw said the railway line connecting Puri and Konark will cover a distance of 32km. “Vistadome train (an all-weather glass-ceiling train) services will be launched between Puri and Konark. The train will give travellers a different kind of experience. We will integrate spiritual tourism with heritage tourism. Between Puri and Konark, we will develop four to five places as heritage hubs. We will try to showcase the rich Jagannath culture and Odia culture before the rest of the world. Inside the train, we will run AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) shows. We will talk to all sections of people, including the sevayats of Puri in this connection,” said Vaishnaw.

For this project, the railways require 215 hectares of land. Sources said the cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 725.78 crore. The rail line will pass by the Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary.

The minister claimed that the Centre had taken special steps for the development of railways in Odisha. He also informed that 5,333 telecom towers are coming up in the state at Rs 5,600 crore. The work is going on in full swing.

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