The Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu while presenting the Railway Budget 2016-17 in Parliament on Thursday announced to take up on priority the provision of passenger amenities and beautification on Puri Railway Station of Odisha along with other pilgrimage centres of the country including Ajmer, Dwarka, Gaya, Varanasi and Parasnath.
Passenger services to be improved and beautification will take place at various stations visited by pilgrims. They include Puri, Varanasi, Ajmer, Amritsar, Bihar Sharif, Chengannur, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar, Mathura, Nagapattinam, Nanded, Nasik, Pali, Parasnath, Tirupati, Vailankanni and Vasco.
The Minister also said that Tourism holds great potential for economic development and job creation. Indian Railways will be partnering with the State Governments for operating tourist circuit trains and explore the possibility of a revenue sharing model.
The holy city of Puri is famous for the 12th-century Jagannath Temple and its annual Car festival, which is attended by millions of people across the world. It is one of the original Char Dham pilgrimage sites for Hindus.
Puri has also been chosen as one of the heritage cities for Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme of Government of India.