Jagannath Express: The Indian Railway plans to launch the ‘Jagannath Express,’ modelled after the Ramayana Express, during the Rath Jatra festival in Puri next year, said Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. He announced on the sidelines of a programme that semi-high-speed Vande Bharat Express trains will also be introduced in Odisha soon.
“The proposed Jagannath Express will be introduced during the Rath Jatra festival in Puri to showcase Odisha’s rich culture, art, tradition and cousin,” he said. After the Ramayan Express, it will be the second train in the “Bharat Gaurav” theme-based tourist circuit.
The Lord Jagannath temple in the beach town of Puri is well-known. According to the minister, Vande Bharat Express will soon arrive in Odisha.
By the month of January or February next year, the country will be manufacturing around four trains a month, he said adding: “We are examining the electrification and other essential parts for running the Vande Bharat train in the state.”
According to Vaishnaw, who claimed that railway infrastructure development is progressing rapidly in Odisha, while only 20 to 25 kilometres of rail line were built during the UPA administration, 180 kilometres of rail line were built in 2021, and 550 kilometres will be built this year.
He claimed that efforts are being made to upgrade 32 railroad stations in the state to international standards. In response to a query, Vaishnaw stated that although Odisha deserves metro trains, the state government has not submitted any proposals in this regard to the Railways.
Vaishnaw, who is also the minister for communications, electronics, and information technology, stated that the first phase of the 5G network services will be introduced in Odisha over the course of the ensuing three months.
“Odisha already has the equipment needed for the 5G network in place,” he claimed. The Minister had stated that by March 2023, 5G phone services would be accessible in four towns in Odisha during a visit to that state on October 16. Customers will be able to access 10 times the speed of 4G thanks to the 5G service.