With more and more BPUT operations moving to Rourkela (thanks to http://rourkelacity.com for the pointer) there could be some huge positives, but not one that people normally think as BPUT’s academic programs in Rourkela will not be better than the programs at NIT Rourkela. But there would be definitely more seats; so that would be good. But the biggest positives would be with respect to connectivity.

In particular, the connectivity between Rourkela and the rest of Odisha, especially the Bhubaneswar area, would improve. Currently not enough attention is being paid to that.

For example, the Talcher-Bimlagarh line will significantly shorten the distance between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela. The distance between them will become 308 kms: BBS-Talcher (114) + Talcher-Bimlagarh(154) + Bimlagarh-Rourkela(40). Currently the shortest distance is 419 kms. Once Talcher-Bimlagarh line is completed one could travel between BBS and ROU in about 5 hours. That would mean one could take a train from one place at 6 and reach the other at 11. Currently the BBS-ROU intercity takes 7hrs 30 minutes one way and 7hs 55 minutes the other way. On the other hand the BBS-SBP takes between 4:40 to 4:50 minutes in the two intercities (BBS-BLGR and SBP-Puri).

So lets hope that the inconvenience caused by having many BPUT operations from Rourkela will lead to people demanding speeding up of the completion of the Talcher-Bimlagarh line and perhaps even the start of shuttle flights between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.

Another positive would be that more private colleges (not now but in few years when the demand picks up again) may come up close to Rourkela and the frequent travel by college heads to Rourkela could give them ideas to develop the travel corridor in many ways.

So although the convenience argument is often used by many (including me) to support some BPUT operations in Bhubaneswar, where most of the BPUT colleges are, perhaps for the greater and longer term good some inconvenience in the short term can be accepted.

Bringing Rourkela and Bhubaneswar closer (in travel time as well as in people’s mind) would be a big plus for Odisha.

Lets work on operationalizing Talcher-Bimlagarh line in 3-5 years!