The first Bhind-Etawah passenger train was flagged off by minister of state for railways and Madhya Pradesh chief minister from Bhind on Saturday.
The nine-coach passenger train will depart daily at 2.40 pm from Bhind and reach Etawah at 3.40 pm. It will return from Etawah at 5.40 pm and reach Bhind at 6.35 pm. The train will depart from Gwalior at 2.30 pm for Bhind and arrive at Gwalior from Etawah via Bhind at 9.35 pm, according railway officials.
The Bhind-Etawah line is part of the Guna-Etawah rail track, whose foundation was laid by former railways minister Madhav Rao Scindia in 1985. It took almost 31 years to get complete. The last leg between Bhind and Etawah (36.4 km stretch) consumed more than 14 years.
The train fare from Bhind to Etawah will be Rs10 and from Gwalior to Bhind Rs 25.
The minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha said despite financial constraints, Rs 4200 crore was sanctioned in this railway budget for Madhya Pradesh including Rs 1600 crore Bhind-Konch rail line scheme. “We’ve targeted to increase rail track building (development) capacity to 19 km per day from existing 7 km per day, besides new lines measuring 2850 km and 2000 km electrification works during the next few years.”
The new rail line connecting Bhind (Madhya Pradesh) with Etawah (Uttar Pradesh) will benefit people and bring prosperity and development in this region, Sinha, a Lok Sabha member from Ghazipur district of East UP said.
The minister of steel (also Gwalior MP) Narendra Singh Tomar recalled and lauded the achievements of Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led state government on the occasion.
Earlier, North Central Railway (NCR) general manager Arun Kumar Saxena said the NCR had managed to record 11% growth and reduction in operational cost through effective working. However, the efforts were under way to provide more facilities to the passengers on trains and railway stations.
State ministers including Maya Singh, Lal Singh Arya, Bhind MP Bhagirath Prasad, MLAs Narendra Singh Kushwaha, Chaudhary Mukesh Singh, DRM (NCR-Jhansi divsiion) SK Agrawal were present at the programme.
Along the 36.4 km track (between Bhind and Etawah) three bridges over Chambal, Yamuna and Quari rivers respectively were built. It took almost one year to complete the repairs (bracketing) and obtain the quality control reports from IIT Kanpur and railways separately. Earlier on two occasions, the flag-off date was scheduled on December 25 which is birthday of Atal Behari Vajpayye was missed due to one reason or other.