BHUBANESWAR: The high-profile Buddhist train that came for the first time to Odisha last month carrying foreign tourists will soon chug into the state at least three to four times a year.
The Union tourism minister K Chiranjeevi on Wednesday gave the green signal when his state counterpart Maheswar Mohanty called on him in New Delhi and discussed the need for running the train regularly with a view to showcasing the region's rich Buddhist treasure. Mohanty suggested Chiranjeevi to extend the train up to Vizag in Andhra Pradesh via Odisha.
"If the train could be extended up to Vizag, availability of tourists would not be a problem and our state in the process would get the benefit," Mohanty said.
He quoted Chiranjeevi as promising that the central government would try to subsidise the expenses on running the Buddhist train. Odisha government spent about Rs 84 lakh while bringing the Buddhist train up to Haridaspur from where the foreign tourists were taken in a luxury bus to different Buddhist sites.
Mohanty said he also held discussions with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for launching the light and sound programme at Konark and Khandagiri.