Bhubaneswar: A brand new train on the Khurda-Bolangir rail route was flagged off by the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The function took place in Begunia on Thursday. Amongst the prominent personalities present at the event were Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Law Minister Arun Sahoo, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Rajya Sabha MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra and MP Prasanna Patsani.
The first 32-km stretch of the 289-km distance covered by the train will be on the broad gauge line till Khurda. It has been 22 years since the Khurda-Bolangir rail route project began, but surprisingly, till date only 32-km stretch has been completed. According to Suresh Prabhu, a total of funds worth Rs 3400 crore have been allocated by the Railway Ministry to the State in this year’s budget.
The Chief Minister has requested Prabhu to make sure that railway connectivity is established on Jeypore-Nabarangpur and Jeypore-Malkangiri routes, so that the tribal-dominated districts get better facilities. He assured that the State government is willing to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) collaborating with the Railway Ministry to materialize the aim of proper rail connectivity in the State of Odisha.