Saswat Singhdeo

Bolangir: It is probably the rarest of the rare cases in the history of Indian Railways where only two passengers board a train every day and a meagre amount of Rs 20 is collected as ticket fare on a daily basis.

In an exclusive report, OTV found out that only two passengers travel in the train which leaves from Bolangir at 6 AM every day and covers a distance of 19 kilometres to reach its destination at Bicchupali station at around 6:25 AM.

“We generally travel in bus. Today we saw you (OTV representatives) and got some courage to board this train,” Ghanshyam Rana, a passenger said.

As shocking as it may sound, while Rs 3.5 lakh is spent by the Indian Railways every month on Bichhupali- Bolangir train service, the total earning is around Rs 600. These numbers were revealed by the responses to an RTI query.

“The Railways should extend the line from Bicchupali to Sonepur and save this nation from financial losses,” said Hemant Panda, who had filed the RTI plea.

Almost a year back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Bichhupali Railway station and the Bichhupali-Bolangir railway line, but till now the route has not been extended beyond Bichhupali.

While some local residents have demanded extension of the railway line to Sonepur and Boudh, others are demanding immediate withdrawal of the train.

“The Khurda-Bolangir railway line has remained a dream. Nobody knows when it will be extended beyond Bichhupali,” said a local resident, Mukesh Rana.

As per reports, three railway employees are engaged on the train every day while four employees handle functioning of the Bichhupali station.