Ambala City (UBC): Northern Railway has planned to spend Rs.2000 crore on the Ambala-Ganganagar section. The money will be spent on doubling and electrification of lines, automatic signalling and other facilities. This was stated by the General Manager of the Northern Railway, VK Gupta, during his visit to Bathinda Junction early this morning.
Elaborating on the plans, he added that while Rs 600 crore were being spent on the electrification of the Jakhal-Rohtak track, Rs 150 crore are being spent on the automatic signalling on the section and work on doubling the Mansa-Maur Mandi track had also begun. He added that automatic ticket vending machines would also be introduced to check the rush of passengers at ticket counters.
Auguring good news for the Malwa region, he said, “We keep getting conflicting and competing demands. But extending the rail link to Talwandi Sabo is on the radar and the work will begin by next year.” He added that the work on the Jammu-Jaisalmer defence line was also on the cards.
He also candidly confessed that extension of concessions to passengers under various categories and providing food at subsidised rates was causing huge losses the railways. “We keep getting complaints about the lack of facilities at the railway stations. I would like to explain to the complainants that the kind of concessions and food that we provide are not provided by any other mode of transport. And these concessions are causing losses to the railways,” Gupta said.
Talking about the lack of sanitation at the Bathinda junction, he urged the passengers to inculcate a civic sense and help the railway authorities and workers keep the stations and trains clean. He expressed the need of implementing the rule against littering.
All India Guards’ Council, Railway Passengers Welfare Association, Northern Railway Men’s Union, All-India OBC Railway Employees Union and Koshish Welfare Society and former municipal councilor, Vijay Kumar, submitted their memorandum of demands to the GM.
Though Gupta’s visit was a much-talked about event yet he left the junction without inspecting the station which looked clean and painted like never before. “The mere purpose of my visit is to put things into order. It is not surprising to see that the junction is unusually clean today. You will also find a large and disproportionate number of the RPF personnel on the junction today,” he said.