Bhubaneswar: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off extension of two trains in two different routes and laid foundation stone of various railway projects through video conferencing at the Bhubaneswar Railway station here on Monday.
Prabhu along with Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off extension of Khurda Road-Rajsunakhala passenger train up to newly built Bolagarh Road station. The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has recently completed trial run on the 12.82 km long stretch between Rajsunakhala and Bolagarh of 289-km long Khurda Road-Bolangir new and important railway line project of Odisha.
They also flagged off Rourkela-Bhubaneswar Rajyarani Express up to Gunupur. This train is connecting Gunupur to the capital city of Bhubaneswar via Paralakhemundi. It will connect important cities of Rourkela and Bhubaneswar directly with Gajapati and Rayagada districts.
Prabhu laid foundation stone for Khurda Road-Puri bypass line, fourth line between Rourkela and Bondamunda, Multi-disciplinary Training Centre at Jagatpur in Cuttack and maintenance facilities for MEMU units at Khurda Road.
Apart from this, Prabhu inaugurated lift and escalators at Bhubaneswar Railway Station for the benefit of passengers, particularly senior citizens, differently abled persons and patients. He also inaugurated double line between Handapa and Saragipali stations in Angul-Sambalpur doubling project, raising and extension of platform no-1 and new platform no-2 and new approach road at Jharsuguda Road station through videoconferencing from Bhubaneswar.
This apart, he announced that a full-fledged and beautiful station building would come up at Paralakhemundi.
During his visit, Prabhu also made a slew of important announcements including selling Odia cuisine and women self-help group products online.
Railway Minister announced that priority would be given to women self-help groups for selling of their local products through online marketing wing of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for which NABARD would be roped in. Besides, priority would be given to selling of tribal products and Handlooms & Handicrafts in Railways, he added.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik praised Railway Ministry for the development of Railways in this region and also urged to speed up the on-going Railway projects at the earliest.
Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan also praised Railways for infrastructural development of this region and urged to speed-up the projects by continuous review of Railway Board. Among others, Commerce & Transport Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi, Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, MPs and MLAs graced the occasion.