Staff Reporter

Stations to be upgraded, travelling public to get better facilities

BHUBANESWAR: The East Coast Railway will introduce five new trains and extend the routes of six trains during the current financial year, General Manager Narendra Kumar Goel said here on Monday.

Addressing presspersons, Mr. Goel said that as many as 16 trains would be made super fast, while 22 trains would be upgraded to have 23/24 coaches during 2006-07.

The five new trains to be introduced are Puri-Howrah-Puri (Bi-weekly Express), Bhubaneswar-Baripada-Bhubaneswar (Tri-weeklyExpress), Bhubaneswar-Pondicherry (Weekly Express), Visakhapatnam-Nizamabad (Bi-weekly Express), and Tata-Yeshvantpur (Weekly Express). The six trains to be extended are 8473/8474 Puri-Jaipur Weekly Express to Jodhpur, 8563/8564 Visakhapatnam-Bangalore Prasanti Express to Bhubaneswar, 8507/8508 Visakhapatnam-Nizamuddin Hirakud Express to Amritsar, 8305/8306 Sambalpur-Raipur Express to Bhubaneswar, 211/212Puri-Sambalpur Passenger to Rourkela and 7227/7228 Vijayawada-Vasco-Amravati Express to Howrah. Work is also going on at a fast pace to complete new lines in different areas under the jurisdiction of the East Coast Railway, Mr. Goel said. The much-awaited Daitari-Keonjhar-Banspani new line would be commissioned by the end of 2006. The Centre has allocated Rs. 1077.2 crore for 2006-07 to the Railway as against Rs. 723.4 crore in the previous fiscal. As the current year had been declared the "Year of the Passengers" by the Union Railway Minister, Mr. Goel said a series of measures were being taken to upgrade the stations and provide better facilities to the travelling public at railway stations and during their journey. Upgrading of the existing facilities as well as passenger security is being accorded priority. He said on the performance front, the East Coast Railway had emerged as the second best Railway in the country followed by South-East Central Railway, which has its headquarters in Bilaspur.