Rashmi Ranjan

A couple of days after the indigenously developed semi-high-speed train Vande Bharat Express hit the tracks in Odisha, the State bagged two more railway projects.

Through a notification issued by the Ministry of Railways, the Central government notified new railway broad gauge (BG) lines between Talcher and Angul (16.5 km) with ‘Y’ connection at Talcher and a new BG rail line from Bargarh Road to Nuapada Road (142 km) under the East Coast Railway as 'Special Railway Project.'

It is worthwhile to mention here that the Bargarh-Nuapada railway line matter was raised during the Padampur bypoll and the State Commerce and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu had written to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw over the matter.

In response to Sahu’s letter, Vaishnaw had said that Odisha Rail Infrastructure Development Limited (ORIDL) has been entrusted with the responsibility of the Bargarh-Nuapada new rail line via Padampur.

Notably, Odisha got its first Vande Bharat Express connecting Puri and Howrah on May 18. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Vande Bharat Express train from Puri through video conferencing.

PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of Puri and Cuttack railway stations.

He also dedicated the 100 percent-electrified railway network in Odisha to the nation. This will reduce the operating and maintenance cost and reduce reliance on imported crude oil, officials said.

He also inaugurated the doubling of the Sambalpur-Titlagarh rail line, a new broad gauge rail line between Angul and Sukinda, the third line connecting Manoharpur-Rourkela-Jharsuguda-Jamga and a new broad-gauge line between Bichhupali and Jhartarbha.