Railway IT & S&T Park to come up in 400 Acres in Chandigarh

Chandigarh (CDG): The former Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced the setting up of first information technology industry of the region at Chandigarh over 400 acres of railway land. The main focus of the industry will be on manufacturing railway signal links and anti-collision devices. According to the records of the Railways, only five per cent of tracks in the country are equipped with the signals. The project is yet to be allotted.

Thumbs up for Railways, aviation a flop: This year, Chandigarh residents got a big bonanza from the Centre as nine new trains were flagged off from the city railway station, helping to increase the rail connectivity with other cities.

However, there was no headway in air connectivity from the Chandigarh domestic airport. Neither domestic nor international connectivity saw any improvement. Besides, the navigational system at the airport, too, was not upgraded.

Rail connectivity gets a boost: After more than a decade, Chandigarh has emerged as a prominent city to have direct rail connectivity with important tourist and religious destinations. After a decade, the whole track between Chandigarh and Ludhiana, measuring 112 km, became fully operational this year.

Station gets a facelift: With the facelift of the city railway station through the construction of a food plaza, escalators and multi-level parking, it can now compete with some of the major railway stations of the country. Due to a conflict with the contractor, however, a number of developmental projects of revamping the railway station were hampered this year. After reallocation, all projects were restarted. The installation of escalators for the platform number 2 and 3 from outside the station, the construction of a footbridge and VVIP rest rooms have been affected. Construction of eight rooms on the Panchkula side of the station was sanctioned, which include waiting rooms and the administrative block for accommodating the staff, is in the pipeline. The proposal for construction of two more yards (stabling line) has been proposed by the authorities, which will be used for cleaning trains. The work on parcel room is also under progress.

Accolades for Railway station: Recently, the Chandigarh railway station was adjudged the best in energy conservation at national level by the Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, presented the award.

No improvement in air connectivity: The connectivity from the domestic airport dropped further with the Kingfisher airlines shutting down its operation. Some airlines started connecting flights for Goa, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad, but the frequency is very limited. Spicejet planned to start an international flight on the Chandigarh-Dubai route, but it could not manage to get the requisite permission from the Union Ministry of Defence. IndiGo, too, planned an international flight, but there is no clarity over the proposal till date.

New trains chug off: This year, nine new trains were flagged off from the Chandigarh railway station: train to Amritsar (Lalkuan Express), Chandigarh-Amritsar Intercity Express via Mohali, Indore-Chandigarh Express, Hazrat Nizamuddin weekly, Kalka-Jammu-Udhampur to Katra Express, Una-Nangaldam-Hazoor Saheb Nanded Express, Kalka-Sai Nagar Shirdi Express, Hazrat Nizamuddin, train to Bhopal and third Shatabdi Express between Chandigarh and New Delhi. Resultantly, the city has been connected with Uttarakhand, Jammu, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka and Goa.