Himansu Shekhar Rout

A day before the launching of the long-awaited passenger train service by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Haridashpur-Paradeep railway line during his visit to Chandikhole in Jajpur, an expert team from the Commission for Railway Safety examined the rail track in Kendrapara. 

After the examination of the safety parameters, an engine trial run was conducted on the track on Sunday.  
The Prime Minister is scheduled to flag off a MEMU train on the route on Tuesday.

Passenger train service to coastal Kendrapara was a long-awaited dream for the people. As the demand was translated into reality, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Congress have come out to take the credit. 

Former Congress legislator Ganeswar Behera said, “Since goods trains started rolling on the track, Congress workers have been staging protests for passenger train services. We had given memorandums thrice to the divisional railway manager of the East Coast Railways in the past. I have written letters thrice to the Union Railway Minister and the Prime Minister in this regard.  We staged a big campaign - Mati Paain Paati Khola (raise your voice for the soil).”

BJD’s Kendrapara unit president Dhiren Sahoo tried to take credit for the project saying, “As the project started, the state government provided all possible cooperation in land acquisition and ancillary works. All the people of Kendrapara fully cooperated in the project. After goods train service, we had repeatedly staged agitations demanding passenger train services.”

BJP’s district unit president Kishore Panda said, “It is a matter of pride for the people of Kendrapara. I thank the Prime Minister for the project. This is Modi’s guarantee. The passenger train service should have been implemented much earlier. But it was the BJD government which is responsible for the delay.” 

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On the other hand, common people questioned the passenger train service from Kendrapara to Keonjhar and why the connectivity was not extended to Cuttack. 

Subash Samal, a Kendrapara resident said, “Cuttack is a business hub on which most traders and people of Kendrapara are dependent. Passenger train service should have been to Cuttack. It would have been much more beneficial.”

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