RAYAGADA: The Junagarh-Bhubaneswar Link Express, which was launched to ease the travel time of commuters from Kalahandi and Rayagada to the State Capital, has failed to serve its purpose. The train halts at Singapur Road and Rayagada stations for at least an hour to get coupled with the Hirkahand Express, which usually arrives at Rayagada late.
The passengers are now demanding the Railway authorities to allow Junagarh-Bhubaneswar Link Express to pass through Rayagada without being linked to the Hirakhand Express that comes from Jagdalpur.
“Commuters face a lot of difficulties due to the linking of these two trains. We are unnecessarily made to wait at Singapur road and Rayagada stations. We waste at least an hour daily. It has increased our travel time,” said Mohammad Ayub of Muniguda.
The Hirkahand Express runs late due to difficult route which includes hilly terrain and 36 tunnels. The situation worsens during the monsoon as it has to cut down the speed to avoid accidents or derailment due to landslides. “The frequent movement of goods trains in this industrial belt and late clearance for the passenger trains further add to our plight,” the commuters complained.
“We have demanded the two trains to be delinked several times. Members of Muniguda Vikash Parishad have also submitted a memorandum to the Railway Minister in this regard,” Zilla Parishad member of Muniguda, Ramachandra Behera, said.Currently, the Junagarh-Bhubaneswar Link Express runs with 11 coaches to cater to the needs of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts.