Puri, Dec 22:
Union minister of state for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today dismissed allegations that Railway ministry was neglecting Odisha as untrue while admitting that necessary infrastructure development for Railway has not progressed as envisaged, due to shortage of funds during the last few years .
The minister was here to flag off a new bi- weekly Puri-Ajmer Express train.
The bi-weekly train will formally run from Dec 30 and is scheduled to leave Puri on Monday and Thursday every week at 9.25 pm and reach Ajmer on Wednesday and Saturday at 9 pm.
The train will start from Ajmer every Tuesday and Friday at 4 pm and arrive at Puri on Sunday and Thursday at 6.45 pm.
The Puri-Ajmer train will have one AC 2-tier, three AC 3-tier, nine sleeper coaches, seven general bogies, two luggage vans and a pantry car.
The new train will touch Khurda road, Bhubaneswar, Mancheswar, Talcher road, Anugul, Redhakhol, Sambalpur,Bargarh road, Balangir, Titilagarh, Kantabanji, Raipur, Nagpur, Surat, Abu Road along the route.
In today’s inaugural run, the train which left Puri this evening will arrive at Ajmer on December 24. The Puri-bound train will leave Ajmer on December 25 and arrive at Puri on December 27.
Speaking on the occasion, Chowdhury reiterated his earlier statement in Bhubaneswar today that doubling of the Delang-Puri line would be completed before 2015.
He said all nearby stations leading to Puri will be renovated in time, keeping in view the preparations for the famous Navakalebar of Lord Jagnnath in 2015.
Chowdhury sought state government’s help for evicting encroachers from land belonging to the railways.
Puri MLA and minister for Culture and Tourism Maheswar Mohanty, in his address urged the Union minister to provide more number of advanced coaches in the trains leaving Odisha.
Local MP Pinaki Mishra demanded sanctioning of more railway projects to the state and completion of Khurda-Balangir rail line within five years.