LUCKNOW: A day after the UPA government launched a slew of development projects in Rae Bareli, it was the turn of the railway ministry on Thursday to roll out more bounties for the Gandhi pocket boroughs, including the neighbouring Amethi.
The projects launched on Thursday had been announced in the rail budget 2013-014. Sonia Gandhi’s constituency Rae Bareli had, in fact, got maximum goodies in this year’s rail budget. Keeping in view the approaching Lok Sabha elections, railways has initiated most of these projects in Rae Bareli and surrounding areas.
Among the projects initiated included laying of the foundation stones of coaching complex at Rae Bareli railway station and an underpass near Idgah at the station. Besides, the facilities which have already been completed were pressed into service like inauguration of an executive lounge at Rae Bareli station, a computerised reservation ticketing system at Dalmau, separate counters for reserved/unreserved tickets at Lalganj and the re-opening of Surajkund Halt. The completion of the 636km Moradabad-Mughalsarai electrified railway line was also announced.
Railways has also started construction of Rae Bareli-Akbarganj-Faizabad new line (116km), Unchahar-Amethi-Sultanpur-Kadipur new line (134km), doubling of the Utaratia-Rae Bareli (66km) and Rae Bareli-Amethi (60km). The electrification from Mughalsarai-Lucknow (288km) has already been commissioned and work is in progress for electrification of 200km Varanasi-Unchahar railway line. Most of these projects like new railway lines, electrification projects and a ‘Rail Neer’ plant at Amethi were announced in this year’s rail budget.
An official release by the Northern Railway credited UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for the upgradation of the existing facilities at Rae Bareli station. Under the coaching complex project, a new 26 coach length washing line will be constructed, along with extension of existing half length washing line to 26 coach length, while a sick line has also been sanctioned. A new overhead tank of 2,25,000 litres capacity is also planned adjacent to the proposed washing lines to facilitate easy and effective cleaning of rakes.
At present, the existing half length washing line pit is being used to give primary maintenance to three rakes per day which includes one express train and two passenger trains. The commissioning of new coaching complex would make it possible to maintain six full length rakes (of 26 coaches) at Rae Bareli. This will enable introduction of new trains from various parts of the country to Rae Bareli in various directions.
As a measure to enhance the mobility of the people of this area, NR has planned to introduce number of trains. A new train, numbers 14219/14220, Lucknow-Varanasi, announced in this year’s budget will chug out on Friday.