Bhubaneswar: Railways is not only developing the infrastructure over its territory but also improving the travel experience of passengers. Development of Railway infrastructure in the Eastern Coast, especially in Odisha, is being given priority, the Railways stated. Below are some of the steps initiated by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on these lines:
Running of 205 Special Trains for Rath Yatra Festival:
Vaishnaw, during his recent visit to Puri & Konark, declared to run 205 Special Trains to and from Puri during the Rath Yatra (Car Festival) period for the convenience of pilgrims. This apart, necessary steps have been taken to facilitate pilgrims with reserved Class Accommodation, for the trains leaving from its jurisdiction towards Puri and vice-versa, apart from the Special trains from neighbouring States.
Special Arrangements during Rath Yatra for Pilgrim’s Convenience:
Apart from the running of Special Trains, Vaishnaw had directed officials to provide ever best service to the pilgrims and passengers during Rath Yatra Time. Keeping in view of the above, many facilities have been provided by East Coast Railway. These include Security arrangements, health and First Aid facilities, Additional Ticket Counters and accommodation of pilgrims along with other facilities.
For the security of passengers, more than 100 CCTV cameras have been installed in the station area. In addition to this drone cameras are being used for better monitoring of security arrangements. Railways have deployed more than 600 RPF personnel and 200 Rail Volunteers to provide safety & guidance to the pilgrims.
More than 40 Ticket Booking Counters, 10 UTS based Hand-Held Counters and many Mobile Counters have been installed for the rail passengers. For the very first time, arrangements have been made to sell Railway Tickets on Road Vehicles.
As per the directions of Vaishnaw, huge covered space has been arranged by the Railways to accommodate 15,000 devotees with Food Court, Drinking Water taps and Toilet facilities. Provisions have been made for Battery Operated Cars for Senior Citizens and disabled people. Free Food has also been arranged for about 50,000 needy pilgrims.
Resumption of Trains, which were cancelled since lockdown:
On passenger’s and general public demand for restoration of trains which were cancelled since Covid19 Lockdown/Shutdown; Railway Minister directed to restore the services of Puri-Sai Nagar Shirdi-Puri Express, Puri-Paradeep-Puri Express, Cuttack-Bhadrak-Cuttack MEMU Special, Visakhapatnam-Koraput-Visakhapatnam Intercity, Visakhapatnam-Brahmapur-Visakhapatnam Express, Palasa-Cuttack-Palasa Passenger Special and Puri-Talcher-Puri MEMU Special.
Rajdhani like Coaches for Safer and comfortable journey:
To provide better comfort and jerk free journey to the passengers, Vaishnaw had announced the introduction of more Rajdhani type LHB coaches in the trains of this region. These fire retardant, low maintenance, higher passenger carrying capacity, safer & comfortable coaches have now been introduced in the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Duronto Express, Puri-Hatia Tapaswini Express, Visakhapatnam-Kirandul Express, Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru Prashanti Express and Bhubaneswar-Anand Vihar (Delhi) Super Fast Express within a very short period.
Monitoring of ongoing projects at the highest level:
The major and public centric Railway projects in Odisha are being monitored at the highest level under the supervision of Prime Minister’s Office. Shri Vaishnaw has also instructed railway officials to keep regular touch with the State Government officials for early land acquisition, land clearance of different departments; so that the ongoing projects will be completed at the earliest.
As a result, the construction of Khurda Road-Balangir New Line is going on in full swing. Completion of other projects including doubling and tripling of line has also been given priority.
World Class Facilities at Bhubaneswar & Puri Stations:
“Vaishnaw had assured to provide World Class Facilities and getups at Bhubaneswar and Puri Railway Stations. Now, the tender has been floated for both the projects and opened for Puri project in last week of June and will be awarded very soon,” the Railways stated.