iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Nidhi Bhanot , Hindustan Times
Ludhiana, February 26, 2013
The 2013-14 rail budget presented by railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in Parliament on Tuesday failed to enthuse the city residents who dubbed it a "poor budget" for train passengers from the region.
However, the project of doubling the track from Ludhiana to Dhuri-Jhakhal for accommodating more traffic on the route has been given the go-ahead.

After the completion of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana railway link, a daily inter-city express train between Chandigarh and Amritsar via Ludhiana has also been announced. Another train would run between Amritsar and Lalkuan via Ludhiana.

People's high expectations from the railway minister regarding announcement of more new trains to Punjab were dashed since nothing of the sort was given in the budget proposals.

Ludhiana has not been provided with any direct train to Anandpur Sahib and Nanded in Maharashtra, which was the main demand put forward by the Sikhs.

Deedar Singh, a retired food and supply officer, rued, "For the last one year, we had been requesting Ferozepur divisional railway manager through written representations that we want a direct train to Anandpur Sahib and Hazoor Sahib in Nanded, but once again the minister did not fulfill our demand. We are very disappointed over no announcement regarding the train."

Moreover, owners of Ludhiana industry rued that they would have to bear increased transportation costs for dispatching consignments across the country.

The demand of local industrialists for expedition of fright corridor to Mumbai and efficient freight mechanism for fast movement of consignments has also not been fulfilled in the 2013-14 rail budget.

Last but not the least, the security issue too has been ignored since no new safety measures for Ludhiana railway station have been announced.

"Inflation is already touching the sky and rail fares were increased two months ago. Now, the railway minister has increased the fares in an indirect manner by levying surcharge," lamented Manjinder Singh, waiting for a train at the local railway station.