She also undertook an inaugural trip on one of the trains from Badampahar to Rairangpur, a village about 13 km away from her birthplace — Uparbeda. Murmu spent a considerable time of her life in Rairangpur.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and Governor of Odisha Raghubar Das among other senior leaders and Railway officials were present at the flagging-off ceremony.
“Providing connectivity to the tribal areas of the country is Modi govt’s priority. These three trains will benefit the mineral-rich areas in many ways,” Vaishnaw told PTI.
It is for the first time in 91 years that this area has come up on the Railways map and express trains have started, he added.
The South Eastern Railway (SER), under which the Badampahar station comes, had beautifully decorated the station and held a cultural event to welcome the President and other dignitaries.
The event witnessed a huge gathering of locals who came to celebrate the historic moment.
The three trains — Shalimar-Badampahar and Badampahar-Rourkela weekly express and one MEMU between Badampahar and Tatanagar — will connect tribal areas with bigger cities and give a huge boost to the local economy, access to healthcare and tribal tourism, a Railways official said.
According to the Railways, the Shalimar-Badampahar Weekly Express will be the first-ever express train connecting Shalimar near Kolkata in West Bengal with Badampahar in Odisha.
The second weekly express train will connect the mineral-rich areas of Badampahar with Rourkela, the Steel City of India while the third — Tatanagar-Badampahar MEMU — will be important for daily commuters as it will run six days a week except on Sunday.
This will be an additional service between Badampahar and Tatanagar, an important industrial city of Jharkhand, the Railways said.
The South Eastern Railway (SER) zone, under which these areas fall, said these trains will pass through mineral-rich and industrial areas and will improve connectivity.
People from nearby areas will also be able to avail of this train service for visiting bigger cities for various purposes, it added.
“It will benefit students and job aspirants by providing easy access to the premier educational institutes and corporate houses,” an SER official said.
Highlighting the importance of the trains for people who need medical treatment, he said, “Patients from this area can now consult doctors and avail treatment at reputable hospitals of Kolkata and Tatanagar.”
Besides providing better connectivity to boost the growth and development of the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, these new trains will also encourage tourists from West Bengal and Jharkhand to explore and enjoy the picturesque landscape and dense forest of northeastern parts of Odisha.
The President also laid the foundation stone of the redevelopment of Badampahar Railway Station as part of the Amrit Station Scheme under which more than 1,300 railway stations across the country are being redeveloped with state-of-the-art facilities.
“Badampahar Station in Chakradharpur Division has been earmarked for redevelopment under Amrit Station Scheme at an estimated cost of ₹12.22 crore,” according to a statement by Railways.
“The redevelopment of Badampahar Railway Station will enhance rail-transport infrastructure and boost tourism for the state of Odisha,” it stated.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.