Residents of the city and migrants from other states working here have widely welcomed the announcement of the biweekly (twice a week) Shatabdi Express from here to Delhi in the railway budget.
Shatabdi was a necessity here as Asia’s largest military station, National Fertilisers Limited (NFL), Guru Gobind Singh oil refinery, Central University, Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant and many other institutions are situated here and a number of outsiders are working in these institutions.
They have to frequently visit their homes in Delhi and elsewhere. Low connectivity with Delhi was pinching them.
Over the past one decade, the number of migrants working in big projects has increased manifold.
Central University has been facing a human resource crisis and one of the reasons for this is poor connectivity of Bathinda with Delhi and other parts of the country.
It may be mentioned here that in 2002 Shatabdi from here to Delhi was flagged off by Nitish Kumar, then railway minister, which was supposed to run five days a week but, due to lack of passengers, it was discontinued after 15 days. Later, with the coming up of national-level projects, better connectivity to Delhi became a major requirement.