Bhubaneswar: Tension grips in North Odisha after the news came that the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express would run via Sambalpur for three days a week. The Railway Board took an in principle decision in this regard at the Parliament Standing Committee on Railways meeting held in New Delhi on Friday.
Two numbers of Rajdhani Express run from Bhubaneswar to New Delhi. One 22823/24 Rajdhani express (via Tata) which runs 4 day a week has a journey time of 24 hours and 25 minutes and it makes 13 stops during the travel. Its stoppages include Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore, Kharagpur, Tatanagar, Bokaro Steel City, Gomoh, Koderma, Gaya, Mughal Sarai, Kanpur and New Delhi railway stations. The other 22811/12 Rajdhani express (via Adra) which runs 3 days a week has a journey time of 22 hours and 50 minutes and it makes 14 stops during the travel. Its stoppages include Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Jajpur Keonjhar Road, Bhadrak, Balasore, Kharagpur, Bankura, Adra, Gomoh, Koderma, Gaya, Mughal Sarai, Kanpur and New Delhi railway stations. As per the decision taken 22811/12 Rajdhani express (via Adra) will be diverted through Samablpur.
Talking to Odisha Bulletin the PRO of east coast Railway Mr. Nirakar Das confirmed that Rajdhani express (22811/12) will run via Sambalpur & it will be implemented shortly but the date is not fixed yet.
People of North Odisha are showing their displeasure over the decision taken by the railway authorities. Balasore District Congress leader Mr. Bikram Panda termed the decision unfortunate & demanded the decision be withdrawn with immediate effect or else they will go for an agitation & Rail Roko strike. If the railways want to run a Rajdhani exp from BBSR to NewDelhi via Sambalpur than it is welcome but why diverting the existing train which runs through north Odisha, Mr. Panda told to Odisha Bulletin.
It will create unnecessary regional feelings between North Odisha & western Odisha told social activist Mr. Sair-Ul-Haq. He further added that the existing rout is overcrowded & people are not getting confirmed tickets in Rajdhani express, How come the Railway takes this type of decision. The civil society will not keep mum on this & they will meet the Railway authorities to give a memorandum in next 3 days told Mr. Haq.