Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday welcomed the proposals of the union railway budget for the year 2014-15 and described it as growth oriented and passenger friendly which would propel all round development and prosperity in the country.
In a statement on the NDA’s maiden railway budget, presented by the union railways minister DV Sadananda Gowda in which he introduced 58 new trains, the chief minister hailed the initiative of the union government to put Indian railways firmly on the track of development.
Badal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brainchild to introduce ‘bullet trains’ in the country would put India on the global map of world class railways and the day was not far off when India would be reckoned internationally as a front runner nation amongst the high speed railways.
The chief minister also welcomed the announcement to start five new trains including Saharasa–Amritsar Jansadharan Express, Nagpur–Amritsar (Weekly), Ferozepur–Chandigarh Express (6 days a week) and New Delhi ­Bhatinda Shatabdi Express (Bi­weekly) besides three others passing through Punjab namely Indore–Jammu Tawi Express(Weekly), Kamakhya–Katra Express(Weekly)via Darbhanga and Kanpur–Jammu Tawi Express (Bi­weekly), whereas 54602 Ludhiana–Hissar Passenger has been extended to Sadulpur.
Badal said that these trains would certainly boost trade and commercial activity in the state besides providing rail connectivity to the land locked state of Punjab. He also complimented the Centre’s unique initiative for the modernisation of railway infrastructure besides taking path breaking decisions like the recruitment of 4,000 women constables to ensure safety and security of women passenger and providing Wifi internet at select stations and in trains.
The chief minister also appreciated the decision of introducing a special pilgrim train covering the entire Sikh religious circuit joining all the five Takhats across the country.
Meanwhile, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal termed the budget as a dream budget for Punjab as it has given state's overdue share. Sukhbir Singh Badal said that railways was a life line of the Indian economy and Modi had put his stamp on the budget aiming to transform its fortune. Badal also said that announcement of public –private partnership to strengthen the infrastructure in railway was a step towards modernisation of British era network.
Thanking the Prime Minister and the Union railway minister for giving the due to Punjab after a decade, Sukhbir said that announcement of new five trains for Punjab would provide better railway connectivity to the other parts of the country, necessary for the growth of any state. “Besides that, announcement to establish world class food court at Amritsar Railway station would give a fillip to the tourism sector in the border region,” he added.