Bhubaneswar, September 25: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has approved extension of Sambalpur-Banaras express upto Visakhapatnam via Titlagarh and Rayagada thereby enhancing rail services in the southern and western districts of Odisha, said an official release on Monday.
According to an East Coast Railway (ECoR) statement, people of Rayagada, Balangir, Bargarh, and other areas have long pending grievances about inadequate train connectivity.
The extention of Sambalpur to Visakhapatnam rail link has the potential to become the lifeline of the people in western and southern Odisha, serving multiple purposes.
“First and foremost, it meets the demand for easier access to quality healthcare services, as many residents from these areas often travel to renowned hospitals. Furthermore, with Visakhapatnam evolving into a thriving educational hub, students from this region can now conveniently access various educational institutions in the city,” it stated.
This move holds promise for fostering new business and trade partnerships, thereby contributing to economic growth, it added.
Extension of the Varanasi-Sambalpur-Varanasi 18312/11 Bi-weekly Express has been approved. This extension would benefit the Southern and Western districts of Odisha but also the north Andhra region and interior districts of Chhattisgarh, it further stated.
This initiative has a ripple effect on intermediate connectivity, facilitating easier travel to crucial junctions like Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction, Hatia, Ranchi, Rourkela, Jharsuguda, and Sambalpur. The entire region is set to experience a surge in economic activity and connectivity like never before.