BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday demanded strengthening of railway infrastructure and plying of special trains for the Nabakalebar festival during July, 2015.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said to ensure smooth running of extra trains and adequate amenities to passengers at Puri and Bhubaneswar stations, infrastructural facilities should be strengthened as around 50 lakh pilgrims are expected to visit during this festival.
Though the Railway has sanctioned a third line between Khurda-Bhubaneswar-Barang and double line between Barang and Cuttack since 2003-04, the work is yet to get over. Work on the third line between Khurda and Bhubaneswar has been completed, but the 16 kilometre stretch between Bhubaneswar-Barang remains unfinished, he said and added that double line between Delang-Puri is yet to be completed.
The State Government’s proposal to the Railway Board for construction of a by-pass of 1.3 kms costing `20 crore to avoid the Khurda junction station is also yet to take off.
Expansion of platforms, passenger amenities, rest area at Puri and Bhubaneswar stations are necessary, he said adding that modernisation of Bhubaneswar station has not been included in 2014-15 Railway Budget.
East Coast Railway (ECoR) has prepared a proposal for construction of a modern station with increased area for passenger amenities at `80 crore out of which the State Government is prepared to share 50 per cent, he said and added that all the work should be completed before July, 2015.