Train to connect Naxal-hit Dantewada with Vishakhapatnam

21 Nov 2017

People in Naxal-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh now won't have to travel 80 km to Jagdalpur to board an 'express' train and can do so from Kirandul instead.

Railways has extended the existing special train between Visakhapatnam-Jagdalpur up to Kirandul (in Dantewada) with effect from November 20, officials said today. "This is the first 'express' category train for the people of the left-wing extremism-affected area and we hope it will lead to the development of the area and serve the troubled areas," divisional railway manager of Visakhapatnam Mukul Mathur told news agency PTI over phone. Officials also said that the Naxals have rarely damaged railway property and the last incident was in 2015.

Currently, there is only one passenger train running in the area since the past 40 years. The Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train stops at Kirandul and it was a long standing demand of the people of the area for an express train which had less stops.
Minister of railways Piyush Goyal in his recent tour to Chhattisgarh had promised to extend the train to Kirandul following a request from chief minister Raman Singh. The train now will connect Kirandul to Delhi, Chennai, Howrah and other major stations via Visakhapatnam. The overnight train will service Kirandul daily and will be accompanied by RPF personnel.

Officials said that overall security measures have been upgraded in the area and patrolling and intelligence coordination between the varied agencies have also been reviewed. The train will stop at Kottavalasa, Araku, Koraput, Jeypore, and Kotpar Road, Jagdalpur, Dilmili, Kaklur, Dantewara and Bacheli in both directions. The train comprises nine coaches - one AC III tier, three sleeper class, three general second class and two second class luggage cum brake van coaches.