Laying the foundation stone for the a Rs 8-crore solar plant at the Amritsar railway station, Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu promised a high-speed train (180kmph) between Amritsar and New Delhi.
The minister also gave the green signal to the long-pending Ferozepur-Patti rail link and said the work will start once the state government acquires the land.
To chief minister’s demand that Punjab should be exempted from its contribution to the project, Prabhu said, “Badal saheb, you give the money when you can.” He also pointed out that the work on the project got delayed due to “paucity of funds at the state’s (Punjab) end”.
“The railways is focussing on solar energy and plans to reduce power expenses by Rs 3,500 crore in the first year. We plan to produce 1,000 MW through solar energy by December this year,” he said.
On the Amritsar-Delhi high-speed train, Prabhu said several trials had been done, adding, “I promise that very soon we will have a train running at 180-kmph from Amrtisar to Delhi”.
He also promised model stations at Amritsar and Ludhiana.
Rajya Sabha MP Shwet Malik, Punjab minister Anil Joshi, Amritsar mayor Bakshi ram Arora and other officials of the railways were also present.