Ambala Division avoid fresh proposals for Railway Budget 2018-19, want key projects completed

CHANDIGARH: Although Ambala division does not plan to send a fresh proposal for the railway budget, 2018-19, officials hope pending projects announced over the last four years for the Chandigarh railway station are speeded up.

Major projects still in the pipeline are disabled-friendly station, green station, Chandigarh-Baddi link line, semi-high speed train between Chandigarh and Delhi, world class station, information technology industry for signal links and training centre to impart railway related skills.

In the 2017 budget, it was proposed that the station will be made disabled-friendly and green. Chandigarh railway station is one of the 500 railway stations which are to be made budget friendly, announced Union finance minister Arun Jaitley during the budget.

As per the proposal, the station will have a number of facilities for disabled commuters. These will include a separate dropping zone for the disabled at the station, separate parking area, special toilets for the disabled, bathrooms, wheelchair and ramp for convenient entry and exit, special lower level ticket counter and a helpline number for them. Besides, a project to make Chandigarh a solar power station is also to be executed. Chandigarh is one of the 700 stations which are to get this facility.

Also, the Chandigarh-Baddi link line, which has three stakeholders, including railways, Himachal Pardesh and Haryana government is yet to start. A team of experts of Societe nationale des chemins de fer francais (SNCF) was hired for the feasibility report for the semi-high speed train project between Chandigarh and New Delhi.

The railway board, which is the implementation authority, is yet to commence work on development of a world class railway station over 500 acres of land. Changes in the plan for the world class station are yet to be approved by the railway board.

Former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced the setting up of the first information technology industry of the region over 400 acres of railway land. The main focus is to manufacture railway signal links and anti-collision devices. A training center was also proposed in the city to impart railway related skills to the youth and facilitate employment. But it was shelved by the railway ministry.

Dinesh Sharma, divisional railway manager, Ambala division said the division is not sending a fresh proposal to the ministry for the next budget. He said semi-high speed project and world class station project will be monitored by the ministry, which is to take a final decision. The division will be informed after the finalisation of the project.