Bichhupali Railway Station: Year on, this railway station inaugurated by PM gets two passengers a day | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com

timesofindia.indiatimes.com

BHUBANESWAR: A year back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Bichhupali railway station and the Bichhupali-Balangir railway line in a slew of projects announced for Odisha.
A year later, the station averages just two passengers daily with the Indian Railways earning Rs 20 per day. The startling discovery was made following an RTI plea filed by Hemant Panda.

The Balangir native had sought information from East Coast Railway (ECoR) on the income and expenditure on account of the new railway station. While ECoR did not supply information regarding the expenditure, sources said the railways spends around Rs 3.5 lakh per month as running cost of the station and the trains to Bichhupali. The station has four staff (station master, assistant station master and two clerical staff).

The Bichhupali station and Bichhupali-Balangir railway line had come up at an estimated cost of Rs 115 crore. Two passenger trains with three coaches each travel from Bichhupali to Balangir in the morning (6.30 am) and afternoon (1.30 pm).
Passenger traffic to increase
Sambit Nayak, senior divisional commercial manager (Sambalpur), said, “After completion of the new line between Balangir and Khurda, the passenger traffic will increase. Also, after completion of the doubling of line between Sambalpur and Titlagarh, the existing passenger train can be extended from Balangir to Sambalpur. This is also expected to increase passenger load and earning.”
Sources in ECoR said though the commercial viability of the Balangir-Khurda line is beyond doubt, it is unfair to expect much traffic till the entire project is completed. “But till that happens, trains have to be run to ensure the tracks are in usable condition,” said one of the sources.
Bichhupali station is located 15 km from Balangir station and will be part of the upcoming 289-km Khurda-Balangir railline, sanctioned in 1994-95, linking Boudh, Sonepur and Nayagarh districts with Bhubaneswar and Balangir.
Though Bichhupali is tiny village with population of 15 (according to Census 2011), the ECoR authorities consider it is going to be a strategic station after the entire KhurdaBalangir line is completed, given that it could develop as a key station on the outskirts of Balangir.
It must be mentioned that the railways had initially proposed to name the station Bhainsapali, after one of the biggest villages nearby. But owing to similar demands from other villages, the district administration stuck to the revenue record of the site and named it Bichhupali railway station.





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