Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday demanded urgent restoration of train services on Rayagada-Singapur route in Sambalpur division.
In a letter to Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Patnaik cited that the services on the particular route were affected after a rail bridge got washed away in the flash floods on July 16.
As the section connects the large hinterlands of Odisha, covering the districts of Koraput, Rayagada, Kalahandi and Bolangir, Patnaik urged Prabhu for commissioning of the second bridge at the earliest.
Patnaik further said said with a single track in use, the East Coast Railway was likely to run not more than 50 per cent of the passenger trains to these areas.
At present, five up and down trains have been cancelled and eight up and down trains diverted via Raipur, Nagpur and Bhopal, bypassing most of Odisha.
The people of the affected districts are already distressed with the floods and are struggling with their livelihood issues connected with rebuilding of houses and restoring economic activities.
The districts have a large tribal population and are also affected by Left Wing extremism and considering such specific concerns, Patnaik urged for restoration of full coaching services at the earliest.