Maharashtra Minister of Forest and Culture Sudhir Mungantiwar has written to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Kumar requesting for Vande Bharat Express train services between Nagpur and Hyderabad.
The letter comes ahead of the inauguration of the Vande Bharat train service connecting Nagpur and Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 11 (Sunday). It will be the sixth semi-high speed Vande Bharat train in the country.
Mungantiwar, in his letter to the railway minister on Wednesday, stated that at least four districts in the Vidarbha region – Chandrapur, Bhandara, Gondia and Nagpur – have close trade relations with Hyderabad due to its geographical proximity.
“I have requested Union minister Ashwini Kumar to start the Nagpur-Hyderabad Vande Bharat Services. As the four districts in Vidarbha have close trade relations and are inter-dependent, a lot of people from these districts commute between Nagpur and Hyderabad daily,” Mungantiwar told reporters.
Highlighting the importance of Nagpur in terms of trade and tourism, the minister said, “Nagpur is located at the centre of India and lies close to the states of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh. Hyderabad is a big city in southern India. Similarly, Nagpur which is the second capital of Maharashtra is also an important city.”
According to Mungantiwar, there is a need for superfast train services between Hyderabad and Nagpur even though there are 22 trains connecting this 575-km stretch.
Once operational, the Bharat train service will also benefit the districts of Bhandara, Chandrapur, and Gondia, he said.
“The tourism potential of Vidarbha region is growing rapidly with people across the country and abroad visiting Tadoba (in Chandrapur ) for tiger safari. There are other tourist attractions such as Pench, Hemalkasa, Chikhaldhara, etc in the region.
The Vande Bharat train services will be of immense help to tourists who arrive in Nagpur. Therefore, the railway ministry should give the consent to start the services at the earliest,” said Mungantiwar.