The much awaited Junagarh Road railway station in Kalahandi district was inaugurated by Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury through tele-conferencing in presence of Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das at a function organised at Junagarh railway station on Sunday. The extension of Bhubaneswar-Bhawanipatna Express upto Junagarh Road was also started on the occasion and Das flagged off the Express train from Junagarh to Bhubaneswar.
With this, the 54.33-km Lanjigarh Road to Junagarh railway line has been put to service. The engineering survey for the project was done in 1991 with a budget estimate of `100 crore. The project was completed after nearly 22 years with revised cost of `234 crores.
The Bhawanipatna railway station and Bhubaneswar-Bhawanipatna Express train were inaugurated on August 11, 2012 and work for the rest of the track up to Junagarh was going on a war footing. The completion of the project bears significance at the time of election as it was the pet project of Das. Congress activists said the extension of the Express train and completion of the railway track upto Junagarh will certainly be a dividend for Das in the coming election, particularly in the areas benefited by the project.
“Completion of Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh rail line was my dream which has now been fulfilled. Junagarh will become a major railway hub in future,” Das said while addressing the gathering on the occasion. He further said the survey for Junagarh-Nabarangpur track has been done. It will link Khariar-Junagarh, Kantabanji-Junagarh and Vizianagaram via Kasipur-Junagarh in future.
General Manager of East Coast Railway Rajib Bishnoi said completion of Lanjigarh Road-Junagarh rail line will go a long way in helping the region in agriculture and industrial sector. Among others, MLAs Gobardhan Dash, Dushmanta Naik, DRM of Sambalpur Division Debraj Panda and Ollywood actor Bijay Mohanty, who recently joined Congress, were present.