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Hon’ble Railway Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw flagged off new Balurghat - Sealdah Express to further enhance rail connectivity of North Bengal

Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology o­n 1st January, 2024 flagged off a new daily express train between Balurghat and Sealdah through video conferencing from New Delhi. This new train will foster the socio-economic development of the service area. It will further boost the railway connectivity of the South Dinajpur district with its state capital, Kolkata. Railway Minister termed this new service as a ''New Year gift'' for the people of the state especially North Bengal districts.

In his inaugural speech, the Railway Minister emphasised the vision of our Hon’ble PM to develop the state of West Bengal and mentioned about allocating funds of Rs. 11,970 Cr during the current year for various projects. Under the Amrit Bharat Station development scheme, 98 stations of West Bengal including 26 stations of North Bengal were to be converted to World Class Stations. Balurghat railway station is also included for development under this scheme. Railway Minister also mentioned that, Rs. 633 Cr. is also to be invested for the new railway line project between Balurghat and Hilli station. Railway Minister also mentioned about massive up gradation of various passenger amenities by addition of Foot Over Bridges, Lifts, Escalators etc. in various stations of the state. Dr. Sukanta Kumar Majumdar, Hon’ble Member of Parliament of Lok Sabha from Balurghat along with other senior official from Railways was present at Balurghat station. Dr Ashok Kr. Lahiri, MLA of Balurghat and the General Manager of NFR, Shri Chetan Kr. Shrivastava joined the program through video conferencing.

The newly introduced train no. 13189/13190 Sealdah – Balurghat - Sealdah express departs from Balurghat at 07-00 PM to reach Sealdah at 04-20 AM next morning. During return journey, it departs from Sealdah at 10-30 PM to reach Balurghat at 08-30 AM next morning. The train has stoppages at 13 stations enroute viz. Rampur Bazar, Gangarampur, Buniadpur, Gazole, Eklakhi, Malda Town, New Farakka, Jangipur Road, Azimganj, Katwa, Nabadwip Dham, Bandel and Naihati stations to reach Sealdah. The regular service from Sealdah was started o­n 2ndJanuary and from Balurghat o­n 3rd January, 2024, respectively. The train is running with modern LHB coaches to enhance the safety and comfort of the journey of passengers.

(Sabyasachi De)

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