BHUBANESWAR: Nayagarh was put on the railway map of the country Monday when railway minister Suresh Prabhu formally dedicated the new line from Bolagarh Road to Nayagarh as part of the ongoing Khurda Road-Balangir project.
Prabhu commissioned the 12.8 km line formally by video link from New Delhi.
Apart from unveiling the line, the railway minister also inaugurated the Nayagarh Town Station building while flagging off a passenger train that made the first journey to the town.
The Bolagarh-Nayagarh stretch comprises 28 minor and three major bridges and 13 road overbridges which required 267.23 acres of land. The Railways has spent about Rs 85 lakh on the construction of the Bolagarh passenger halt.
The extension of the new section will give a boost to the ongoing work for the much-delayed Khurda Road-Balangir Road railway line measuring 289 km. Sanctioned in 1994-95, the commission of the line started two years ago with the 36 km Khurda Road-Begunia on July 19, 2015.
The ECoR has set an ambitious target of extending the line by 40 km at both ends by March next year. It plans to connect Nayagarh to Nuagaon with a line of about 25 km and another 14.9 km from Balangir to Baisipalli.
The total cost of the 289 km project is estimated at Rs 3005 crore. So far, the Railways have spent close to Rs 801.7 crore. “The Odisha government is not only providing free land for the project, it will also bear half of the construction cost between Dasapalla and Balangir for about 177 km. The project is expected to be completed by June 2021.
With the new line extended till Nayagarh, the Nayagarh Town-Khurda Road passenger train will leave Nayagarh at 5 am and reach Khurda Road at 7 am. In the return direction, the train will leave Khurda Road at 7.35 pm and reach Nayagarh Town at 9.30 pm
Similarly, the Khurda Road-Nayagarh Town passenger train will depart from Khurda Road at 7.45 am and reach Nayagarh at 9.30 am. In the return direction, it will leave Nayagarh at 10 am and reach Khurda Road at 11.30 am.
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani were present with Prabhu at New Delhi for the function. At the inauguration function of the Nayagarh Road Station, local MLA Arun Sahoo, divisional railway manager of Khurda Road Brijmohan Agrawal and CEO of ECoR RS Dubey were present.