BHUBANESWAR: Passengers approaching the railway station here from the eastern end got a new waiting room inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, apart from inauguration of the second entry and new station building with reserved and unreserved ticketing system at Bhubaneswar railway station here on Saturday.
The Ministers also inaugurated new station building at Sakhigopal through video conferencing from here.
The new building has facilities to accommodate both upper-class and second-class passengers and separate reserved and unreserved ticket counters. It is located near platform No. 6.
Popularly known as Old Station, which had remained underdeveloped for long with no dedicated waiting rooms or reserved ticket counters for the passengers. Now, this side of the station has got dedicated parking yards, including bays for auto-rickshaws and cabs.
“A number of people enter the station through the old terminal. Finally, it has got proper facilities now,” said Himansu Mehrda, a shopkeeper here.
The station gets a footfall of over 80,000 every day. At present, over 200 trains pass through the station every day.
In 2015, the railway authorities had increased the number of platforms here to six from four. Sources said that in the next phase, a major development would be taken up at the Master Canteen side. “A number of high-rises, including a new multi-storey station building, will come up at Master Canteen. We need to match up to the development of one side with the other,” said an East Coast Railway official.
The BJD boycotted the programme, alleging that no proper invitation was given to them. A war of words also started between leaders of the state and central governments on delay in completing the sanctioned projects for the state. Gohain said the railway was not able to complete several projects as the state had failed to provide the required land.
He said Rs 5,100 crore had been sanctioned for the development of railway infrastructure in Odisha for 2017-18 fiscal. “The railway is not able to carry out the projects due to land acquisition problems,” he said.
Countering the statement, state commerce and transport minister Nrusingha Charan Sahu said the Union minister was making baseless allegations.
“It is a baseless charge. We have completed land acquisition for several sanctioned projects, but they are not beginning the work even after the land has been provided to them,” said Sahu.