Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal demanding the introduction of a direct flight service between Bhubaneswar and Surat.
He also requested Goyal to consider the introduction of two new daily trains between Berhampur and Surat.
In a letter to Prabhu, the Chief Minister said, "Odisha people living in Surat face a lot of difficulties in reaching Odisha at the time of urgent necessity. Air connectivity between Bhubaneswar and Surat will not only cater to the requirement of the people from Odisha residing in Surat but would also increase the tourist inflow to both the places. Hence kindly introduce direct flights between Bhubaneswar and Surat at the earliest."
"There is no direct train service between Berhampur and Surat. I once again request you to kindly look into the genuine demand of the people of south Odisha residing in Surat and consider the introduction of two new daily trains between Berhampur and Surat at the earliest," the letter added.
Patnaik has also requested Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani to allot a land for the establishment of a community centre in Surat to meet the requirements of Odia community for their social celebrations. According to state government, more than seven lakh people from Odisha are residing in Surat.
"The Government of Odisha is planning to establish a community centre in Surat to meet the requirements of Odia community for their social celebrations. The proposed complex will also serve as a nerve centre of cultural exchange between Odisha and Gujarat," Patnaik said urging Rupani to provide an acre of land at a suitable place in Surat for the purpose.
Patnaik will visit Surat on December 17 to attend 'Odisha Mohatsava' organised by Surat Odiya Pravasi Samaj.