Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Briefing newsmen at the Khordha Road Railway Division office here on Tuesday, senior manager (Commercial) and Public Relations Officer (PRO) HL Luang and Divisional Manager (DRM) of Khordha Road Railway Division Sailendra Kumar Singh said that preparations of the Division for the Rath Yatra had reached the final stage.
Giving the details of the arrangements, they said in addition to about 25 pairs of regular train services, the Railways will run a total 84 special trains on Rath Yatra, Sandhya Darshan, Bahuda Yatra and Suna Besha on June 29, July 6, 7 and 8 respectively.
The 12891/12892 [Bhubaneswar-Bangiriposi-Bhubaneswar Express trains would be extended up to Puri with effect from June 29 to July 9. The train would arrive at Puri at 12.20 PM from Bangiriposi and leave Puri at 14.25 PM for Bangiriposi.
To accommodate more passengers, additional coaches will be added to these special trains, they said.
In order to handle a large number of pilgrims, 35 additional ticket counters, including one at Bagala Dharmasala, will be opened at Puri railway station.
Besides, additional booking counters will be opened at peak hours at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Khordha, Brahmapur, Balugan, Khallikote, Paradip, Bhadrak and Jajpur-Keonjhar Road railway stations.
In addition to the one regular inquiry counter at Puri railway station, three more would be opened, strategically located in the circulating area and near the temporary entry point at the extreme end of platform No-1 A.
There will be three Passenger Help Desks near the buffer ends of the platforms to guide the passengers who can also inquire about the train running information on telephone No. 06752-226717, 232518 & 232519.
They can also contact on telephone No. 06752-232504 for medical assistance and 06752-232304 (RPF) & 232303 (GRP)for security assistance, the ECoR officials said.
To keep the passengers informed about the timetable and publicity, 20 train timetable boards will be put up at Puri UI railway station and other important locations in the city like Singhdwar and Bagala Dharmasala.
Apart from this, 12 train Indication boards, indicating the schedule of trains, along with the departure platforms, will be function in the Mela Shed and other locations at Puri railway station.
Wide publicity of special trains to be run during the Rath Yatra will be made through PA system installed at Puri railway station and through Cable TV network, Singh said.
In addition, leaflets will be distributed among the passengers at the railway stations to inform them regarding Rath Yatra arrangements made by the railways.
Keeping in view the massive footfall of the passengers from various locations inside and outside the state, arrangements have been made to provide them with resting and toilet/bathing facility for which a temporary Mela shed, covering an area of 1800 sq mtr, is being erected at the Puri railway station that would accommodate nearly 4000 passengers at a time.
Apart from a food plaza at Puri railway station, arrangements are also being made for selling of tea, snacks, water bottles and Janata meal.
A total of 130 drinking water taps and four water coolers have been temporarily installed at Puri railway station premises.
Steps have also been taken for additional food stalls at major railway stations like Sakhigopal, Deland and Khordha Road.
To ensure proper cleanliness and sanitation in the station premises, including the Mela shed and the circulating area, more than 100 supervisors and staff will be deputed round the clock.
To provide timely treatment of the passengers, medical assistance booths manned by five doctors and 30 nurses and other para-medical staff with Ambulance service will function in the circulating area of Puri railway station.
Apart from this, adequate arrangements are being made by railways to ensure uninterrupted power supply at Puri railway station. For this purpose, one 100 KVA and two 63 KVA generator power cars have been pressed into service in addition to the one generator of 250 KVA already in place.
Considering the heavy flow of road traffic through Talabania LC gate, additional manpower, including GRP personnel, will be deployed at the Talabania level crossing to ensure trouble free movement of trains and road vehicles.
Like in previous years, The railways will provide trained workforce, breakdown materials such as jacks etc to attend any possible breakdown of chariots during the Rath Yatra.
Since the above arrangements involves large scale mobilization of manpower and other resources, over 640 railway staff and supervisors drawn from Operating, Commercial, Mechanical, Electrical, S&T, Engineering and Medical departments from stations other than Puri would assist the railway staff in Puri.
The railway staff would be assisted by Scouts and Civil Defence personnel. All officers of the Division would keep a close watch on the arrangements.
As regards safety and security, elaborate safety arrangements are being made.
A total of 500 Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel, 750 Government Railway Police (GRP) officers and sniffer dogs would be deployed and assisted by 300 home guards.
Fire service personnel and fire tenders and 25 fire extinguishers would be deployed at at stratetic locations.
To keep a close watch on anti-social activities, 24 CCTV cameras will be installed at Puri railway station.