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Railway Ministry Plans 315 Special Trains for Smooth Pilgrim Travel During Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra

Bhubaneswar: The Ministry of Railways has announced the operation of 315 special trains to and from Puri to facilitate the smooth travel and convenience of pilgrims during the Car Festival of Lord Jagannath (Rath Yatra), scheduled from 6th July to 19th July 2024. This year’s Gundicha Yatra will be celebrated over two days, prompting the East Coast Railway (ECoR) to enhance its service offerings based on previous Rath Yatra experiences.

Special trains will run from various parts of Odisha and neighboring states, including routes from Badampahad, Rourkela, Baleswar, Sonepur, and Daspalla. Additionally, special trains have been planned from Junagarh Road, Sambalpur, Kendujhargarh, Paradeep, Bhadrak, Angul, Gunupur, and Bangiriposi on Gundicha Yatra.

ECoR has also scheduled special trains for other significant events such as Sandhya Darshan, Bahuda Yatra, and Suna Vesha. This year, there will be special trains for the Adharapana Festival of Rath Yatra as well. In response to anticipated high demand, ECoR has assured the provision of additional special trains to accommodate the influx of devotees.

To enhance passenger convenience, East Coast Railway will offer reserved class accommodation on some long-distance special trains during the festival period. Railway Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasized the importance of improving passenger amenities and instructed ECoR to ensure the best possible convenience and benefits for pilgrims.

In line with the Railway Minister’s commitment to providing comprehensive facilities to devotees, ECoR has undertaken several initiatives, including:

  • Crowd Management: Effective measures to handle large gatherings.
  • Train Information System/Enquiry Counters: Enhanced information dissemination.
  • Video Walls Display: Real-time updates and information.
  • Additional Ticket Booking Counters and Mobile Ticket Counters: To ease ticket purchasing.
  • Pilgrim Waiting Area/Shed: Accommodation for 15,000 pilgrims.
  • Security Arrangements: Ensuring the safety of all attendees.
  • Catering & Hospitality: Adequate food and beverage services.
  • Medical Facilities & Ambulance: Ready to address any health emergencies.
  • Provision of Power Supply, Water Supply, Cleanliness, and Sufficient Toilets: Ensuring basic necessities are met for all passengers.

East Coast Railway General Manager Parmeshwar Funkwal inspected the Rath Yatra arrangements at Puri Railway Station, reviewing the facilities provided to pilgrims. Funkwal has directed officials to complete all arrangements well before the commencement of the Rath Yatra, ensuring a seamless experience for all devotees.

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