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Railways finally reaches Maoist-hit Antagarh in Chhattisgarh

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
August 14, 2022 11:24 IST
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Residents of Antagarh, a small town in Chhattisgarh's Maoist-hit Kanker district, were delighted on Saturday as the first train linking it to the outside world rolled out 75 years after Independence.

IMAGE: BJP MP from Kanker Mohan Mandavi flags off Antagarh-Durg special train at Antagarh station, in Chhattisgarh, August 13, 2022. Photograph: Courtesy DRM Raipur/Twitter

As a part of the 235 km Dallirajhara-Rowghat-Jagdalpur railway project, Antagarh, which has a Nagar Panchayat, is now connected to state capital Raipur by a train service.

The route of a special passenger train from Raipur and Durg to Kevti has been extended up to Antagarh.

 

Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Kanker Mohan Mandavi flagged off the train from the Antagarh station at 1:35 pm, a railway spokesperson said.

Antagarh Congress MLA Anup Nag, former MP Vikram Usendi and officials of Railways and Sashastra Seema Bal were also present, he said.

On the first day, 144 tickets were sold at Antagarh station, he added.

The train will leave daily from Raipur at 09:15 am and reach Antagarh at 01:25 pm. It will depart from Antagarh at 01:35 pm and arrive in Durg at 04:40 pm.

Under the first phase of the Dallirajhara-Rowghat-Jagdalpur railway project, 95 km of tracks are being led from Dallirajhara to Rowghat.

A passenger train service has now become operational on the 59-km stretch upto Antagarh, Senior Publicity Inspector of Raipur Railway Division Shiv Prasad told PTI.

Earlier, the route had train service upto Kevti village, 42 km from Raipur. Antagarh is 17 km further from Kevti, he said.

The project, a joint venture between the Chhattisgarh government, National Mineral Development Corporation, Steel Authority of India Limited and railways, will open doors for economic development in north Bastar region, he said.

Upon completion of the project, Narayanpur and Kondagaon in Bastar region will be connected to Raipur via Durg and other major cities of the state by the rail route, Prasad said.

It would allow the transportation of iron ore from Rowghat Mines, located in a Maoist stronghold in north Bastar besides offering transport facility for local people, he said.

Two battalions of the SSB have been deployed exclusively for guarding the project since 2016.

Residents of Antagarh hailed the coming of the railway.

Neelkanth Sahu, who runs an electronics and electrical shop, said he travels twice a week for work, and the train service will make it much more convenient for him.

Hemant Kashyap, another local resident, said he had been demanding a train from Antagarh since a trial run was held in 2020.

"It is a historic day for all of us," he added.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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