Bhubaneswar: Koraput MP Saptagiri Ulaka has written to Railways Minister Piyush Goyal urging the latter to extend Lokmanya Tilak Express train (18519/18520) till Rayagada in Odisha.
Citing reasons for the proposed extension, Ulaka said in the letter that the train after reaching Visakhapatnam from Mumbai at 11.10 AM remains idle for around 12 hour before heading towards Mumbai at 11.30 PM.
“The distance between Rayagada and Visakhapatnam is around 185 km and running time for a Super-Fast Express is around 3 hours. If it will leave Visakhapatnam at 11.15 AM, then it will reach Rayagada at 2.15 PM. If this train leaves Rayagada at 8.30 PM, it can reach Visakhapatnam before the schedule time,” the MP wrote.
There is no direct train from Rayagada/Kalahandi/Koraput to Hyderabad or Mumbai. This extension will facilitate the passengers of undivided Koraput and Kalahandi districts of Odisha, Ulaka said, adding that Rayagada has been declared as a Division by the Railways and the Rayagada Railway Station can accommodate the services of one more train.
If properly managed, this train can also connect the passengers from Junagarh Express (18438) which which reaches Rayagada at 7.55 PM and Jagdalpur-Rourkela Express (18107) coming from Koraput and reaching Rayagada at 9 PM, wrote Ulaka.
There are a number of industries like NALCO at Damanjodi, HAL at Sunabeda, UAIL at Tikiri, JK Papers at Rayagada and Vedanta at Lanjigarh, and also upcoming industries like Birla and L&T in the pipeline, for which direct connectivity is required with these major cities. Extension of this train can commercially viable without additional expenses, he said.