Railway station PM Modi inaugurated last year in Odisha gets only two passengers a day
The East Coast Railway said that the Bichhupali station would earn more revenue once it is connected to Sonepur station by next year.Updated: Jan 16, 2020 16:04 IST
A railway station inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Odisha’s Bolangir district gets just about two passengers everyday, an RTI application has revealed.
“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.
The Bichhupali station was inaugurated on January 15 last year by PM Modi during his visit to Odisha. A passenger train rolls between Bichhupali and Bolangir station twice everyday on the 16.8-kilometre-long track.
Panda had sent an RTI query last month to the East Coast railway seeking details of expenditure and income on the railway station. He got a reply that Railways earns a daily revenue of Rs 20. Panda was, however, not given any details of the expenditure.
The track between Bolangir and Bichhupali was built at a cost of Rs 115 crore.
Chief public relation officer of East Coast Railway, JP Mishra said the station would earn more revenue once it is connected to Sonepur station by next year. “The key is connectivity. People from Bichhupali want to travel to Sambalpur, Titalagarh and Bhawanipatna which is not possible now. We are expecting once the doubling of railway line between Sonepur and Titlagarh is over, we will get more passengers,” said Mishra.
At a time when the Railways is spending more than what it earns (the operating ratio for 2018-19 was 97.3 per cent compared to 98.4 in 2017-18), many see running a station like this a huge burden on railway. Higher operating ratio means a lower profitability.