Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to introduce a Shatabdi Express train between Bhubaneswar-Rourkela via Jharsuguda.
In a letter to the Railways Minister, Patnaik said, “Odisha is a major contributor to the growth of Railways, it still continues without commensurate railway infrastructure and services. While Odisha is the biggest contributor of revenues to Indian Railways in the freight sector, the passenger growth too has been much higher than the national average.”
“We have been demanding for introduction and enhancement of the premium rail services such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Humsafar, Tejas and Uday Express trains to cover important destinations in Odisha,” the Odisha CM said.
Patnaik also apprised Goyal that a highly popular service like Shatabdi Express, even after its introduction way back in 1988, covers only a single route in Odisha between Howrah and Bhubaneswar. Quality rail connectivity between important cities and the State capital Bhubaneswar is an important requirement for furthering inclusive development and growth in the State.
“I would, therefore, request that a Shatabdi Express be introduced between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela via Jharsuguda as Jharsuguda is a major industrial hub in western Odisha whereas the Steel city of Rourkela is the 2nd smart city of the State and their connectivity with Bhubaneswar through a premium service like Shatabdi would serve the genuine transportation demand of people of these two significantly important cities of my State,” Patnaik said in the letter.
“The only Inter-City Express on Bhubaneswar, Jharsuguda-Rourkela route is running at 120% of its capacity. As there are no direct express trains to Rourkela-Jharsuguda starting in the morning hours from Bhubaneswar, the proposed Shatabdi Express will be well patronized, thereby making the service financially viable as well,” the Chief Minister further mentioned.
“I would be keenly looking forward to an early favourable response from you on the above proposal,” Patnaik concluded.