Mrunal Manmay Dash

The much-awaited Railway Over Bridge (RoB) at Matiapada in Puri is soon going to be a reality as the work on it going on in war footing.

As per reports, the required land acquisition has already been completed. The contractor is now working towards constructing the drainage system following which electric poles will be shifted paving the way for the service road on both sides of the proposed bridge.

The construction of the structure will begin after the service roads are made operational. The RoB is scheduled to be completed by April 2025.

“We have Marine Drive on this side of the city. People can go to Bhubaneswar, Nimapara and Gop from this side as well. This road gets busy with tourists who come to visit Konark temple. It is good that the overbridge work has finally begun. It will really help us when completed,” said a local Manoranjan Mishra.

“Land acquisition has already been completed. Drain work is going on. The contractor is currently constructing the service road. Shifting of the sewerage line and electric poles is going on too. The service road work will be completed on both sides of the overbridge after the drain is constructed and it will facilitate movement of vehicles,” said Assistant Executive Engineer Saroj Kumar Mishra.

The railway over bridge is a long-standing demand of locals. Earlier, they had submitted a memorandum comprising one lakh signatures to the Union Ministry of Surface Transport for its construction.

The need for the over bridge was necessitated as traffic gets disrupted for several hours at the level crossing on the Puri-Konark-Bhubaneswar golden triangle route. As many as 51 daily trains apart from weekly ones ply on the tracks owing to which the gates remain closed for hours.

Apart from the RoB at Matiapada, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has already announced the construction of the railway line between Puri and Konark.

Puri MLA Jayanta Sarangi said, “Puri-Konark railway line will help passengers move between two historic towns by train. The central government has taken responsibility for developing Jagannath Dham. Not only this railway line, but more developmental works are on the cards in this area.”

Even the tour operators and travel agencies welcomed the decision to roll train between Puri and Konark.

“This is a really welcome move. It would be more beneficial if the railway project could be done without damaging the jungle along the marine drive. It would be even better if the government could facilitate waterways between the two towns. People and tourists can enjoy travelling through the sea between Puri and Konark,” said the Secretary of the Odisha Tour Operator Association Jugabrata Kar.

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