New Delhi: In a first of its kind project, the Indian Railways and the Punjab Government have decided to form a joint venture company to fast-track planned rail projects in the State as well as take up new projects, including creation of ultra modern railway stations and laying new railway tracks. Announcing a first of its own kind joint development venture for the railways along with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal after attending a public rally, the Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said that the new venture would transform the Indian Railways and make it a truly modern entity.
Prabhu, addressing the media after paying homage to great martyrs Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at the ancestral village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, said that the initiative would result in connecting missing rail links in the State besides modernising important stations —Amritsar station being the first initiative under this partnership. Sukhbir disclosed that the new Amritsar railway station would have a shopping mall besides modern office spaces. He said that with a decision on this already being taken in principle, Punjab would be the first station to be taken up for modernisation under this scheme in the country.
Meanwhile, speaking at the public rally, Prabhu announced that Khatkar Kalan railway station would be upgraded and the train service would be started between Jaijon Doaba and Amritsar via Nawan Shahr and Khatkar Kalan. On the demand put forth by local MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, Prabhu assured survey of new railway track between Rahon and Samrala to connect Khatkar Kalan with rest of country.
He said that the Centre has also decided to connect all commercial towns near the borders with railway tracks. Necessary discussions in this regard have been held between Railway and Defence Ministries, he added. Thanking the Railways Minister for introducing unique Centre-States joint company, Sukhbir demanded that to link Malwa with state capital, a missing rail link between Rajpura and Mohali, should be undertaken on priority basis besides linking Punjab and Himachal Pradesh by laying track between Anandpur Sahib and Garhshankar.