Mohan Padmanabhan

Bankura, Sept. 20

THE South Eastern Railway (SER), freight-carrier of the Indian Railway System, has opened up new vistas for trade and commerce, and cultural activities and tourism, for the rail users of Bankura (seat of the medieval Malla Kings, and the land of terracota) and its surrounding areas.

On Sunday, the SER threw open passenger services on the much-awaited 41-km long Bankura-Sonamukhi broad gauge section (first phase) of the Bankura-Damodar-River (BDR) project, which up to August 2005 has cost Rs 95 crore. The total project cost is put at Rs 325 crore, and the scheduled completion is 2007-end.

The inaugural passenger train from here to Sonamukhi was flagged of by Mr Basudeb Acharya, MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways. Bankura station is one of the most important stations of Adra Division of the SER.

Briefing presspersons on board the special train to the inauguration site from Kolkata, Mr R.R. Bhandari, General Manager, SER, said the BDR project entailed extension from Sonamukhi to Rainagar (19.8 km), and then on to Mosagram, providing direct connectivity to Howrah through Eastern Railway.

And this will be further taken from Bowaichandi to Khana Junction (for which Rs 39 crore has been sanctioned), providing direct connectivity for the people of Bankura with Khana, Bardhaman, Durgapur and Asansol.

He said a new line project (47 km) connecting Bankura with Mukutmanipur via Chatna has been sanctioned.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 21, 2005)
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