Puri, India (Urban Transport News): Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 17th Vande Bharat Express train via vedio confrencing today. The Puri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express (22895/22896) is set to traverse the 500 km distance between Howrah and Puri, known as the abode of Lord Jagannath. The journey is estimated to take approximately 6 and a half hours.
The regular run of the Puri-Howrah-Puri Vande Bharat Express will commence from 20th May 2023. The train will run six days a week i.e. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The departure time from Puri will be 1:50 pm and will reach Howrah at 8:30 pm.
The train offers two types of coaches one is AC chair and other is Executive chair Car. The price of AC chair is Rs 1,430 including Rs 328 as catering charge. The price of Executive chair Car is Rs 2,615 including Rs 389 catering charge. Food Choice is optional in the train and if passengers opt for ‘No Food Option’ then catering charge will not be added in fare.
The train from Howrah will also start from 20th May 2023. The departure time from Howrah is 6:10 am and will reach Puri 12.35 pm. The price of AC chair is Rs 1,265 including Rs 162 as catering charge. The price of Executive chair Car is Rs 2,420 including Rs 195 as catering charge.
The train with 16 coaches will halt seven station between Puri and Howrah - Khudra road Jn, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Jajpur K road, Bhadrak, Balasore, Kharagpur Jn, Howrah. The train will be operated and managed by South Central Railway (SCR) division of Indian Railways.
These trains are aimed at meeting the growing transportation needs due to the rapid industrial development in Odisha's steel, power, and mining sectors. Additionally, the introduction of Vande Bharat Express will help alleviate the passenger traffic burden on these rail routes.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, “People of Odisha and West Bengal are getting the gift of Vande Bharat train today. Vande Bharat Express is the symbol of modern India and aspirational Indians. When Vande Bharat travels from one place to another place, it represents the pace of progress of India.”
“This is the time of Amril Kaal, the time to further strengthen the unity of India. The greater the unity, the greater the collective strength of India will reach. These Vande Bharat trains are also a reflection of this spirit,” he added.
Thanking PM Modi on the occasion, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik said, “It is a matter of delight that the Vande Bharat Express between Puri and Howrah was launched by the Prime Minister.”
“We are developing Puri as an international heritage site. Even I had a discussion with PM Modi regarding the Shree Jagannath Puri international airport. We will incorporate all the suggestions given by the PM for making it a world-class seaside airport. I am hopeful, with your cooperation and support within three-four years, the airport will be ready and you (PM Modi) will come to Shreekhetra to dedicate it to the nation,” Patnaik added.
Notably, this marks the second Vande Bharat Express to be introduced in West Bengal, with the first one operating between Howrah and New Jalpaiguri.
With the induction of Puri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express, a total of 17 Vande Bharat Express trains are now running on various route of Indian Railways.
Prime Minister also inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of several transformative projects, including redevelopment of Cuttack and Puri Railway stations, accelerating the progress of Odisha.