Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma said here on Tuesday that the union railway budget, presented by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, was the start of 'good days' (acche din) for Punjab because it was for the first time in the history of the railways that the state has been given such an importance in this budget.
In a press release, Sharma said the announcement of the Saharsa-Amritsar Jansadharan Express, New Delhi-Bhatinda Shatabdi Express (biweekly), Ferozepur-Chandigarh Express (6 days-a-week), Nagpur-Amritsar weekly train and a high-speed train from Jammu to New Delhi via Pathankot would prove a turning point in the rail history of Punjab to improve its connectivity with different parts of the country.
The starting of special trains to run on the Sikh circuit was a long-pending demand of Punjab that has been fulfilled in this budget, he said.
"The announcement of 5-6 new trains for Punjab in the budget has happened for the first time and it's only because of the visionary leadership that the country got in Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.
Sharma said that the Bathinda-Delhi Shatabdi and a new train from Ferozepur to Chandigarh were the long-pending demands of the people of south-west Malwa, but these demands were time and again neglected by the Congress-led governments at the Centre.
He said introduction of pre-cooked and 'ready-to-eat meals of reputed brands' on trains would also go a long way in improving services in trains.
"It's good that a weekly train from Ferozepur to Chandigarh has been launched. It will benefit a number of people including students, servicemen and others who have to spend a lot by travelling in buses," Gurpeet Singh Dhillon, a resident of Ferozepur.
"The budget has again ignored the importance a rail link between Ferozepur and Amritsar. It's rueful that since independence, the rail link between Ferozepur and Amritsar has not been even initiated what to say about its completion.
The Ferozepur-Amritsar rail route would not only enhance tourism but also strengthen the defence line", Ravi Kant Gupta, MD, Dev Raj Hi-Tech.