Ramakanta Biswas

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw during their two days visit to Odisha reviewed the arrangements made by the Railways for the convenience of pilgrims during Rath Yatra. 

Extending greetings to people coming to witness Rath Yatra in Puri, Vaishnaw said that this year Railways have made elaborate Rath Yatra arrangements at Puri railway station for the benefit and convenience of pilgrims. 

"For the first time, 205 special trains are being run during the Rath Yatra. With this, more than 300 regular trains will also be run. Railway predicts that more than 10 lakh passengers will be able to travel in more than 500 trains to and from Puri," Vaishnaw said.

For the security of the passengers, more than 100 CCTV cameras have been installed along with drone cameras for monitoring security arrangements. For this, Railways have deployed more than 600 RPF personnel and 200 Rail Volunteers for safety and guidance of pilgrims.

More than 40 Ticket Booking Counters, 10 UTS-based Hand-Held Counters and many Mobile Counters have been installed so that there is no problem in getting tickets and passengers will get easy access. For the first time, arrangement has been made to sell Railway Tickets in Road Vehicle.

A huge covered space has been made by Railways to accommodate 15,000 devotees with Food Court, Drinking Water and Toilet facilities. Provisions have been made for a Battery Operated Car for Senior Citizens and disabled people.

The Railway Minister also informed that pilgrims and passengers can relax at night in the Mela Shed and Free Food has been arranged for 50,000 needy pilgrims.