Brahmapur (BAM): The Visakhapatnam-Amritsar Express which is the only direct train for Delhi from Brahmapur should run daily, said a memorandum by senior BJP leader Ram Chandra Panda to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu during his visit to the State recently.
“We appreciate the fact that for the first time, a token budgetary approval has been granted for the proposed rail wagon factory at Sithalapalli near Brahmapur city, which eventually can be developed as a train washing facility center, so that all the trains which are meant for originating from Brahmapur can be started from the city instead of being taken to other stations like Palasa for washing.
Similarly, till date there is no direct railway communication between Brahmapur to Rourkella. Since a large number of people from Ganjam district are working in Rourkella, the Rourkella-Bhubaneswar Rajarani Express may be extended to Brahmapur to serve the needs of the people of south Odisha,” the memorandum urged.
Around five lakh Odia people from Ganjam district are currently working in Surat in Gujarat and the only communication for them is Puri-Ahmedabad Express which runs only four days in a week, while the train connecting Puri-Jagannath dham with Dwaraka Peetha runs only once in a week causing a great deal of inconveniences to the people of south Odisha, including Ganjam district, the memorandum pointed out, demanding that the Puri-Ahmedabad train be made regular and Puri-Okha train be made tri-weekly for convenience of the passengers and pilgrims.
It further said that people who reach Brahmapur Station in the early hours suffer a lot due to lack of toilet facilities for which in front of the GRP office, a “Sullabh Souchalaya” should be opened.
The memorandum further pointed out that a narrow gauge from Palasa to Gunupur via Paralakhemundi (Gajapati district) was converted to a broad gauge at the initiative of the NDA Government. Now only a passenger train is running from Puri to Gunupur and returns back which takes about 12 hours to cover a distance of about 250 km. This being the only train catering to the needs of the people of Andhra Pradesh (Sreekakulam district) and Odisha (Gajapati district) covering a substantial portion tribal area is not useful for office goers. Hence, an Intercity Express from Gunupur to Bhubaneswar with limited stopovers may be run to facilitate the passengers of Gajapati and Rayagada districts of Odisha as well as Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh to reach Bhubaneswar, it urged.
The memorandum also demanded for extension of rail link from Gunupur Theruvali, an industrial pocket of Rayagada district, to connect the hinterland of the KBK districts to provide port connectivity to Gopalpur port. With this new link, the distance between KBK districts and Brahmapur will be reduced by 70 km, besides facilitating the running of Delhi-Raipur bound trains in this route. Further, the proposed extension will not only provide connectivity to the Gopalpur port and the proposed port “Bahuda Muhan” on the river mouth on Bay of Bengal, but can also serve the interior and the backward districts of Odisha, it said.