Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday flagged off the much awaited Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, which will run via Sambalpur City, Jharsuguda and Rourkela. The train which will run once a week every Saturday, was flagged off through video-conferencing from New Delhi.

It will run as 20817/20818 Bhubaneswar-New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express via Sambalpur City and Jharsuguda with stoppages at Cuttack, Sambalpur City, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Chakradharpur, Anara, Gomoh, Koderma, Gaya, Mughalsarai and Kanpur Central between Bhubaneswar and New Delhi from both the directions.

"It is a historic day for people in Odisha as their long standing demand for Rajdhani Express has been fulfilled. We will also try to ensure that the frequency of the train is extended in future," said Sinha.

Sinha further stated that the Government of India is committed towards development of railway infrastructure in Odisha and this time a highest of allocation of Rs 5,252 crores has been made in the union budget.

"We hope that the railways will speed up the pending projects once Odisha government completes necessary formalities for land acquisition," Sinha added.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on the other hand said that the demand for Rajdhani was pending since decades before the railways.

"The new route will benefit the people of Western Odisha and ease connectivity for people belonging to Angul, Talcher, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Rourkela," said Pradhan.

According to Pradhan, the Centre has taken necessary measures for improving passenger amenities, services, safety and redevelopment of stations in a holistic manner in last three years.