Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday urged Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for connection of Shatabdi Express train to Rourkela via Jharsuguda.
“Though 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 freight revenues, the passenger growth too has been much higher than the national average,” Naveen wrote to Goyal.
The state government is demanding introduction and enhancement of premium rail services such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Humsafar, Tejas and Uday Express trains for connecting important destinations in the state, he added.
The CM mentioned that 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.
He requested the Union Minister for introduction of Shatabdi Express between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela via Jharsuguda.
“As Jharsuguda is a major industrial hub in western Odisha and steel city of Rourkela is the 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 wrote.
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 per cent of its capacity.
As there are no direct express trains to Rourkela-Jharsuguda starting in the morning hours, the Chief Minister suggested running the Shatabdi Express on morning hours, which will also be financially viable.