Kendrapara: Passenger train services will soon be started on the much awaited Haridaspur-Paradip railway line project.
A meeting in this regard was held at District Collector Office in Kendrapara, Tuesday.
It was decided in the meeting that the district administration will take steps with immediate effect to run passenger trains as a ‘rail roko’ protest was held recently during an experimental trial run of a goods train on the route demanding introduction of passenger train services.
In the first phase the railway authorities will allow to run goods trains and after the security check and all other necessary arrangements the authorities will introduce passenger train services.
“People are speculating there will be no passenger train services on the railway line. But we will start the passenger train service after a successful trial of goods train service,” Paradip Port Trust (PPT) Chairman Rinkesh Roy informed.
“There were multiple rumours about running of passenger trains with goods trains on Haridaspur-Paradip rail line. However in the meeting, all the speculations regarding it were clarified by the PPT Chairman Rinkesh Roy in the presence of Kendrapara MP Anubhav Mohanty, Mahakalpada MLA Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and district Collector Samarth Verma,” stated Kendrapara MLA Sashibhusan Behera.
Behera stated that Railways will come up with an official announcement regarding the running of passenger trains after arrangements like toilets and a proper railway station are constructed.
“The people of Kendrapada district are emotionally attached to the project and the confusion regarding the running of passenger trains on the route was cleared by the company in the meeting,” said Mahakalpada MLA.
Last month 29 July, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for introduction of passenger train services on Haridaspur-Paradip rail line at the earliest.
Notably, Paradip-Haridaspur railway line project was sanctioned in 1996 and its foundation stone was laid by Union Railway Minister Nitish Kumar in 1999. However, the completion of the project was delayed by almost two decades.
This railway project is being executed through a special purpose vehicle in which state government, Ministry of Shipping and Indian Railways have similar share in equity in the SPV. The project took extremely long for commissioning but with continuous monitoring, it has finally come to the final stage. The 82-km line connected Kendrapara district to the railway map for the first time.
The project will cover Haridaspur to Paradip including Jajpur, Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur districts.
Last year in November, Odisha Government had directed officials concerned to complete the project within the extended deadline of March, 2020. However, train services are yet to be flagged off.