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Vikash Sharma

The long wait of passengers was finally over with the Indian Railways resuming the operations of Sambalpur-Puri Intercity Express on Sunday. The services of the train were stopped due to travel restrictions in view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Several leaders from the State had earlier requested the Union Railway Minister for early resumption of the Intercity train as several passengers from Sambalpur and other parts were facing problems due to the stoppage of its services.

“We are happy that the Intercity services have resumed from Ram Navami after a gap of two years. This will benefit the passengers as they were facing numerous problems in traveling to Bhubaneswar from Sambalpur,” said Hemant Kumar Pradhan, a passenger.

According to Pradhan, people had to spend extra money to travel to Bhubaneswar from Sambalpur in buses.

“The cost of bus ticket has now reached Rs 500. But with the resumption of the Intercity Express, a passenger will just have to pay Rs 115,” said Saroj Dhal, another passenger.

Sambalpur MLA, Jayanarayan Mishra said, “We had requested the Railway Minister to restart the passenger train services including Intercity Express which was earlier stopped due to Covid restrictions. As roads are not in good condition, a lot of people of the State still depend on train.”

According to Mishra, they have also requested the Railway Minister for direct rail connectivity to Allahabad from Sambalpur and increasing the frequency of Hirakud Express.

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