Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday flagged off a weekly train, Shraddha Sethu Express, that will link the pilgrimage centres of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Rameswaram. PM Modi was in Rameswaram to inaugurate the memorial of late President, A P J Abdul Kalam. He said the Rameswaram–Faizabad–Rameswaram via Ayodhya weekly express is equipped with bio-toilets and will help boost the Centre’s cleanliness campaign.
PM Modi, through videoconferencing at a function in Mandapam, about 15 km from Rameswaram, said, “Rameswaram is connected with Lord Rama. And I am happy that a train connecting that to Rama’s birth place of Ayodhya in the name of Shraddha Sethu has been dedicated to the public.”
The inaugural special train that has been numbered 06793, departed from Rameswaram at 12.30 pm to reach Chennai. It will leave Chennai Egmore at 3.20 am on June 28 and reach Faizabad at 11 pm on June 29, news agency PTI quoted Southern Railway.
The regular services of Shraddha Sethu Express from Rameswaram and Faizabad will commence on August 6 and August 9, respectively. Its stoppages onward Faizabad include Tiruchchirappalli, Thanjavur, Chennai Egmore, Gudur, Vijaywada, Ballarshah, Nagpur, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Allahabad, Jaunpur and Ayodhya.
According to Hindu, senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industries S. Rethnivelu said, “Though it is run as a train to connect pilgrimage centres, it would get better patronage if it is run through Madurai. Already, Rameswaram- Varanasi train is run on the same route without touching Madurai.”
“They can visit Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, and three of the six abodes of Lord Muruga, including Palani in Dindigul district and Tirupparankundram in Madurai district, if the train was run through Madurai,” he added.