The northern railways released the time slot for new trains from Chandigarh announced during the railway budget, but there is no word when these trains would be started.
Among the trains which are still on papers include Chandigarh-Ferozepur express (daily), Jaipur-Chandigarh intercity (daily) via Jhajjar, Ram Nagar-Chandigarh express (weekly) via Moradabad, Saharanpur and Kalka-Katra express (daily).
In the new time table released, Chandigarh-Ferozepur express (daily), is slotted between 4-4.30pm while Kalka-Katra train has been given the slot of 7.30am. Other two trains have also been given slots during the day time. But these trains are yet off the track.
A city resident said, “It is unfortunate that despite being announced several months ago, there trains are yet to start. The most awaited train is Kalka-Katra express, due to direct connectivity from the city till Mata Vaishno Devi shrine and also Chandigarh-Jaipur train due to the tourism economy.”
City residents said there were several groups that arrange buses till Katra but face a lot of hassle in road journey. Therefore, keeping in view their religious sentiments and safety, authorities must start the Kalka-Katra train at the earliest.
Former union railway minister and former Chandigarh member of Parliament Pawan Bansal said the Kalka-Katra train should have been started by now since it was announced in the last budget.
Local hotel industry too demand early start of Chandigarh-Jaipur as it would help boast local hospitality business.