Fathom this. A 16.8 km railway track built at a cost of Rs 115 crore. The number of passengers it benefits is only two and the daily passenger earning is a princely Rs 20!
These are the facts revealed after an RTI application about a railway station inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Odisha’s Bolangir district early last year.
“The Bolangir-Bichhupali station daily passenger turnover is two per day, and passenger earning is Rs 20,” the RTI reply by Sambalpur Division of East Coast Railway said while replying to an application filed by Bolangir-based RTI activist Hemanta Panda.
PM Modi had inaugurated the Bichhupali station on January 15, 2019 during his visit to Odisha. A passenger train rolls between Bichhupali and Bolangir station twice everyday on the 16.8-kilometre-long track.
However Chief Public Relations officer of East Coast Railway, JP Mishra is very optimistic. The station will earn more revenue once it is connected to Sonepur station next year, he says.
“The key is connectivity. People from Bichhupali want to travel to Sambalpur, Titalagarh and Bhawanipatna, which is not possible now. Once the doubling of railway line between Sonepur and Titlagarh is over, we will get more passengers,” says Mishra.