Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

With the much-awaited trial run of Howrah-Puri Vande Bharat Express being undertaken on Friday, the Odisha government has requested the Centre to run the train on two more routes in the State. 

In a letter to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Odisha Commerce and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu sought the train on two more routes - Puri-Rourkela via Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar- Hyderabad. 

 “Odisha has been a significant contributor to the growth engine of India, emerging as an Eastern Gateway to the nation. With rapid growth, the aspirations of people are rising constantly. Odisha has been witnessing rapid economic growth in last two decades and attracted highest investment during last couple of years. We have been demanding rapid expansion of rail network in the state, time and again, as the state can contribute immensely to the country’s economy. As you are aware, Vande Bharat Express Trains have been introduced across the country to give faster connectivity, expect in Odisha,” Sahu wrote. 

“We seek Vande Bharat Express Trains on three routes of Odisha. I would like to request you to introduce Vande Bharat Express trains through Odisha to meet the growing aspirations of people. Request you to introduce Vande Bharat Express train between Puri and Howrah to offer faster travel options to passengers. As you are aware, there are very few faster trains that connect Western Odisha and state capital. I would request you to introduce Vande Bharat Express train between Puri and Rourkela connecting Sambalpur which will facilitate faster passenger movement from Western Odisha districts to state capital. It will boost intra-state economic activity and connect the airports in Jharsuguda, Rourkela and Bhubaneswar,” she added.

“As you are aware, a large number of people from Odisha are staying in Hyderabad. I would also like to request you to introduce another Vande Bharat Express train connecting Bhubaneswar and Hyderabad which will facilitate faster movement of passengers between the two capital cities. I, therefore request you to consider the genuine demands of the state which will offer better passenger convenience and faster travel options to businessmen, tourists and aspiring people of Odisha,” the letter further added.

Meanwhile, the first trial run of Vande Bharat Express started from Howrah-Puri on Friday. The train departed from Howrah at 6:10 am and reached Puri at noon today with two-minute stoppages at Kharagpur, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. The train will depart from Puri at 1:50 pm and reach Howrah again at 8:30 pm.

The Vande Bharat train features a GPS-based passenger information system, bio-vacuum toilets, and rotational seats that can be aligned in the direction of travel in the executive class, and employs a regenerative braking system. 

The Vande Bharat Express can reach a maximum speed of 180 km/h (110 mph). It will make the journey of the travelers more comfortable and faster. It is expected to boost the tourism sector in Odisha.

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