In an effort to mainstream the Ahmediyyas — a Muslim sect— the Indian Railways at its June 24 meeting sanctioned the RS240-crore project to construct a 39.6-kilometre stretch linking the international headquarters of Ahmediyyas with Radha Soamis.
The Ahmediyyas’ branch is located in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district at Qadian while the Radha Soamis is headquartered at Beas in Amritsar district.
“This rail link will meet the increased requirements of freight and passengers traffic and also the strategic needs of the armed forces,” said Pratap Singh Bajwa, the Congress Lok Sabha member from Gurdaspur.
The Qadian-Beas link will help decongest road traffic, facilitate bulk transportation of food grains, and supply coal, pig iron and scrap to industries in Batala. It will also enable faster inward movement of cement and fertilizers to Gurdaspur.
The new route will shorten the Amritsar-Delhi distance by approximately 40 kilometres.
“I rejoice in the fact that my dream project is now turning into a reality,” said Bajwa — who has been campaigning for the rail link for over a decade.