Punjab keen to strengthen existing Rail links, create new lines

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will flag off an 81-km railway line and a passenger train between Sonipat and Jind. Adaish Pratap Singh Kairon Welcomes Union Railways Minister In Chandigarh. Expresses Gratitude For Sanctioning A New Railway Link Between Patti And Ferozepur. Punjab Govt. also deposits Rs.2.13 Crore for Dhanaula Rail Bridge.

Rail Minister in PunjabChandigarh: Adaish Pratap Singh Kairon Food and Civil Supplies Minister Punjab today discussed vital issues pertaining to strengthening the existing railway links and creating new railway lines in Punjab besides improving and increasing the connectivity and frequency of the special trains running for different religions destinations with the Union Railways Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu during his short stay in Chandigarh today.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today flagged off a maiden train on 81-km railway line between Sonipat and Jind and stressed on the need to create infrastructure to promote growth and to meet future challenges.

Speaking on the occasion, Prabhu described Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh “as the growth triange of India,” saying government will pump in investments to further improve railway infrastructure in the region.

Prabhu said railways has joined hands with Haryana seeking speedy execution of viable rail projects in the state in a joint venture model.

The MoU was signed recently between them for constitution of a joint venture entity for development of rail infrastructure in the state, which Prabhu said was going to be the first such state to have this kind of partnership.

“Earlier, Rs 314 crore were spent on development of rail infrastructure in Haryana, but this has now been almost tripled,” he said.

Railways will join hands with Punjab too to have a JV on similar lines, Prabhu said.

Prabhu along with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar flagged off the passenger train via video-conferencing from Chandigarh railway station.

The train between Sonipat and Jind will also connect several hinterland villages and urban clusters with 13 railway stations, of which 10 will be new railway stations.

Prabhu also launched a number of other passenger-centric projects through video conferencing. Other projects were new Foot-over-Bridge, railway station Sonipat and inauguration of a mechanized laundry in Chandigarh.

The laundry will cater requirement of linen for entire Ambala division. Apart from this, foundation stone of coaching-cum-maintenance facilities at railway station, Chheharta near Amritsar was also laid.

While the foundation stones of additional traffic facilities was laid at Chandigarh railway station that of 17 lifts and 10 escalator facilities was also laid at different railway stations.

Apart from this, foundation stones of 37 limited height subways in Punjab and Haryana was laid.

While Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, BJP MP from Chandigarh Kirron Kher, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal were scheduled to be part of the function in Chandigarh, Prabhu said he had received a message from Badal and Kirron stating they wanted to come but were unable to come due to some reasons.
Prabhu announced that work on developing an elevated

railway line at Rohtak in Haryana will begin soon. This will be the first such railway line of its kind in the country, he said.

Accepting the demands raised by Haryana Chief Minister, Prabhu announced that work on developing freight corridor at Rohtak, which has already been approved in-principle, will begin soon.

“Our Prime Minister keeps saying we need to further strengthen our railways,” Prabhu said.

He said Narendra Modi government has done more work within a short of span of two years what the UPA could not do in its regime.

“From 4 km of new lines which were being laid every day, we have taken it to 8 km, soon it will be made 11 km and we have set a target of making it 19 km in next three years,” he said.

Citing examples, the minister said railways had carried out guage conversion of 1,528 km between 2009-14, whereas the NDA government has already carried out 2,828 km of guage conversion.

Likewise, work is going on to convert unmanned level crossing gates into manned ones across the country.

Touching on railway over bridges and railway under bridges, he said 762 used to be constructed every year earlier, “but now we have increased the number by 50 per cent more.”

On electrification work, he said, “In 2009-14, 1184 km was done as against 1730 km now.”

Prabhu said need of the hour was to create infrastructure keeping future challenges in mind.

“Keeping future challenges in mind, what we invest today, its benefits will be reaped in times to come. If we do not work on these now, then we will not be able to face challenges,” he stated.

“We need to increase capital expenditure. During UPA time capital expenditure never crossed Rs 45,000 crore, during UPA-I it was only Rs 24,000 crore. Last year, we have increased it to Rs 93,795 crore,” he said.

Prabhu said “we invested amounts in excess of Rs 24,000 crore, which earlier was mere Rs 2600 crore.”

The present Central government was committed to improve rail infrastructure, and make the journey of passengers safe and secure and one which they will cherish.

“In 560 trains you can send a SMS if you do not find house keeping good,” he said.

Kairon expressed his gratitude to the Union Railways Minister for giving his nod to construct a new railway link between Patti and Freozepur and also sanctioning the works of shifting of goods siding from Patti city.

He said that the construction of new railway link would ease out the railway congestion on this line besides directly helping People.According to Mr. Kairon the direct line to be constructed between Punjab and Mumbai would bypass the congested Delhi hub saving a lot of time.

Giving due respect to the religious sentiments of the Punjabis, Mr. Kairon urged the railways Minister to  further improve the connectivity and increase the frequency of the special trains running from Punjab to various religious destinations in the country in order to facilitate people to pay their obeisance at these holy and sacred sites.

To ensure prompt transportation of grains in various mandis across the state, Mr.Kairon impressed upon the Union Railways Minister to allow additional rakes besides enhancing their frequency so as to accomplish the task of shifting grains within and outside the state in a hassle free manner.

Responding to this issue raised by Mr. Kairon, the Union Railways Minister directed the authorities of Northern Railways to do the needful in this regard in consultations with the Chief Secretary of Punjab.

Appreciating the decision of the Union government to develop about 507 kanals of low lying garbage dumping area adjoining the Patti Railway station into a park and yoga centre, Mr.Kairon said that modalities are being worked out to  plant herbal and ornamental trees all over this area.

He urged the Railways Minister Mr. Prabhu that the development work of this area under Prime Minister’s Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan could be initiated by signing a MOU between the Union Railways Ministry and the Forest Department of Punjab.

The Minister said that it would help to mitigate the problems being faced by the people and also contribute largely towards the Swatchh Bharat Campaign launched by the Government of India.Later, Mr. Kairon along with other senior officers of the state government accompanied the Union Railways Minister Mr. Prabhu to the Chandigarh Railway station to see him off.

Punjab Govt. also deposits Rs.2.13 Crore for Dhanaula Rail Bridge

The Punjab government has deposited Rs 2.13 crore with the Ambala railway division as its share for the construction of a road underbridge (RUB) at the Dhanaula railway crossing in Barnala district. The railway crossing had been troubling commuters for many years as it remains closed for major part of the day and cuts the town into two parts. Sukhbir Singh Badal had laid the foundation stone of the RUB on January 22, but the railway department approved it only in May.

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