Finally, the Punjab government has started work on acquiring the land required for establishing direct railway link between Chandigarh and Ludhiana.
Also, the already functional Chandigarh-Morinda rail line would be electrified within eight months to run high speed electric trains, which could not be possible at present, Punjab Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh disclosed after presiding over a meeting of the Indian Railway officials in Chandigarh on Thursday.
The 45-km-long Chandigarh-Morinda railway line via SAS Nagar and Kharar was opened to rail traffic on September 27 last. Former Punjab Cabinet Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang flagged-off first Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) 8 coaches from Chandigarh railway station after Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had formally inaugurated the Rs 195 crore project with the remote pressing of signal system from Ludhiana.
Assuring the Railway authorities of handing them over the land required for constructing 51-km-long Morinda-Sahnewal railway line within one month, the Chief Secretary said the state government would soon begin proceedings to acquire the land falling in Rupnagar district under the Land Acquisition Act.
Chief Secretary disclosed that the Railway authorities have assured that after getting the required land, the railway line would be constructed within two-and-a-half-years to establish direct rail link of Chandigarh with Ludhiana.
He also assured the Railway officials that notification under the Land Acquisition Act for acquisition of land in Fategarh Sahib would be issued within 15 days.
Northern Railway Chief Engineer Vinay Singh explained the details of Rs 577 crore ambitious project
Presently, two passenger trains – Ambala Cantonment-Nangal Dam and Ambala Cantonment-Chararu Takrala – were running on the non-electrified Chandigarh-Morinda rail stretch, built at the cost of Rs 195 crore, on 196.55 hectare land, with 14 curves, 125 bridges, including 7 major and 100 minor, 17 road-under-bridges, a road-over-bridge and 11 level crossings between Kharar and Morinda.
Now, after decade of planning, the work for electrification of Chandigarh-Morinda track and commissioning of Morinda-Ludhiana section has finally started.