Union Territory Chandigarh, represented by railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in the Lok Sabha, as also Punjab and Haryana were on Tuesday showered with goodies in the this year's rail budget--be it a coach manufacturing factory, new trains or other projects.
The bonanza for the two states and its joint capital Chandigarh include a modern signaling equipment facility, construction of five new railway lines, doubling of five railway lines, electrification of four sections, 10 new express trains, three new DEMU services, one each of new passenger and MEMU services, five extensions of existing train services and increase in frequency of four trains.
Besides, two sections - Morinda-Khamano and Samrala-Sahenwal of the Chandigarh Ludhiana railway project are scheduled to be completed by March 31 this year.
Within a few days of Bansal taking over as Railway Minister, a third Shatabdi Express had started operating between Chandigarh and New Delhi on January 14.
Bansal said that in view of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committees and demands from border states he proposed to take up a new line between Ferozepur and Patti for providing direct rail link between border areas of Ferozepur and Amritsar/Attari.
He said that in order to meet the increasing demand, reduce dependence on imports and to generate employment opportunities, a coach manufacturing unit would be set up in Sonepat district of Haryana in collaboration with the state government.
He said that with a view to contributing to the national skill development programme of the government, Ministry of Railways would impart skills to the youth in railway-related trades in 25 locations spread across the country.
Three of these locations -Chandigarh, Pathankot and Sirsa - fall in the region.