23 January 2019
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today requested Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to introduce Shatabdi Express between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela via Jharsuguda.
In his letter written today, the Chief Minister has mentioned, “I would, therefore, request that a Shatabdi Express be introduced between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela via lharsuguda. As Jharsuguda is a major industrial hub in western Odisha and Steel city of Rourkela is the 2nd smart city of the State, 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.”
He has stated, “The demand of people can be gauged from the fact that 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.”
“I may bring to your notice 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,” the Chief Minister has pointed out.
The letter also mentions, “As you are aware, though Odisha is a major contributor to the growth of Railways, it still continues without commensurate railway infrastructure and services.”
It has also been mentioned, “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. It is in this context that we have been demanding for introduction and enhancement of the premium rail services such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Humsafar, Tejas and Uday Express trains covering important destinations in Odisha.”