HUBANESWAR: Union Ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday flagged off the extension of Banaras-Sambalpur-Banaras bi-weekly express up to Visakhapatnam at Sambalpur railway station in Odisha.
The train was flagged off from Sambalpur towards Visakhapatnam and will run as a special train. The regular service in the extended portion of this train will commence from November 22 from Visakhapatnam and from Banaras on the next day.
Speaking on this occasion, Vaishnaw said the Sambalpur Junction railway station will be developed as a world-class station at a cost of Rs 300 crore and the design will be prepared by the students of IIM Sambalpur and Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology (VSSUT), Burla.
He said railway allocation to Odisha increased substantially during the Modi government in comparison to the then UPA-II period. The annual allocation in the railway budget for Odisha has been increased from Rs 800 crore to Rs 10,000 crore.
Similarly, he said, the pace of work has also increased. The Indian railway constructed 450 km of new railway tracks last year while earlier during the UPA time, only 50 km of railway track were constructed in a year, said the Railways Minister.
Union Education Minister Pradhan said the Centre has allocated Rs 18 lakh crore grant to Odisha during the last nine years while the UPA government had allocated only Rs 3 lakh crore in its 10-year tenure.
Similarly, mining revenue of the state has been increased to Rs 50,000 crore in a year from Rs 5,000 crore during the current NDA government, he said.
Pradhan requested the Railways minister to run a special train from Sambalpur to Ayodhya as Ram Temple will open from January 22 next year.
Published On Nov 21, 2023 at 04:32 PM IST
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