Nayagarh gets rail link

Prabhu and Naveen flag off slew of railway projects

By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 21.03.17
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Bhubaneswar-Gunupur Express train. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar, March 20: Railways minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and chief minister Naveen Patnaik today flagged of a number of railway projects of the state.

While the Khurda Road-Rajsunakhala passenger train service was extended up to Bolagarh, the Rourkela-Bhubaneswar Rajyarani Express service went up to Gunupur in tribal-dominated Rayagada district.

A newly commissioned Handapa-Sargipalli double line section was also dedicated at the special function held at the city railway station this evening. Besides, foundation stones were laid for the Khurda Road bypass line (Rs 25.22 crore), fourth line between Bondomunda and Rourkela (Rs 93.87 crore), a multi-disciplinary training centre at Jagatpur near Cuttack at an estimated cost of Rs 19.98 crore and maintenance facilities for mainline electric multiple unit at Khurda Road junction (Rs 18.69 crore).

The extension of Khurda Road-Rajsunakhala passenger train service assumes significance as it touches Nayagarh district, which had no railway connectivity till date.

This was a part of the much-awaited Khurda Road-Balangir rail line project (289km), which was taken up as a joint venture of the Indian Railways and the state government. The state government has committed to share 50 per cent of the Rs 3,004.90 crore project cost and give the required land free of cost.

The first phase (36-km-long Khurda Road-Begunia rail line) was commissioned on July 16, 2015, while the next phase (Begunia to Rajsunakhal) was opened on November 3 the same year. Now, the third phase (Rasunakhala-Bolagarh) has been complete, while the fourth phase from the Khurda Road end has been targeted to be complete by May. From the Balangir end, work on the 14.9km stretch between Balangir and Bhaisnapalli is expected to be over by March next year and the entire project's deadline is March 2022, said a railway official.The extended Rajyarani Express, which was earlier running between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela thrice a week, will cover Khurda Road, Nirakarpur, Balugaon, Chhatrapur, Berhampur, Icchapuram, Sompeta, Palasa, Noupada, Paralakhemundi and Gunupur.

Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram, central petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, state commerce and transport minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi, tourism and culture minister Ashok Chandra Panda, local MP Prasanna Patasani, Rajya Sabha member Anubhav Mohanty, Bhubaneswar MLAs Bijay Kumar Mohanty and Priyadarshi Mishra as well as Jharsuguda legislator Naba Kishore Das attended the event.