Indefinite railroko from tomorrow

Rourkela: Train services on the Howrah-Mumbai main line is likely to be affected from Sunday as an indefinite rail roko will be launched here demanding improvement of railway services.

The rail roko will be staged at Rourkela junction, Bandamunda and near Bandamunda bridge, Subrata Patnaik, convenor of Rourkela Development Steering Committee, a non-political organisation spearheading the agitation, said today.

The agitation would be held as the Railway authorities had taken no step to solve the long pending demands of the people despite reminders and discussions with them, he said.

The committee has been demanding setting up of a railway terminus at Rourkela, opening of a rail division here under East Coast Railway and a washing yard.

The committee had alleged that though Railway had been earning 35 percent of its commercial revenue in the Rourkela route, it had been neglecting the area.

The committee has the support of ruling BJD, as well as opposition BJP and Congress, CPI-M, trade unions and socio-cultural bodies of Rourkela, he said.

Meanwhile, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held a meeting of railway officials at Bhubaneswar and discussed the problems in Rourkela with them, official sources here said.

Railway authorities have reportedly assured the chief minister to extend the services of Jammu Tawi Express and Gorakhpur-Hatia Express upto Rourkela.

Besides, the running of Howrah-Koraput and Puri-Nizamuddin Utkal-Kalinga Express via Rourkela was under consideration, the sources said. Both trains had been diverted via Angul following Maoist threat in Jharkhand areas for the past eight months.