Even as the union government promises a lot when it comes to giving a boost to the Indo-Pak trade, the ground reality is different. The sorry state of affairs at the rail cargo terminal were exposed when local MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and railway authorities found infrastructure in a shambles during an inspection on July 31.
Leaking roofs, broken floors, dilapidated approach road, goods scattered all over the place and cement bags imported from Pakistan kept over rock salt were there for all to see.
More pathetic or rather alarming was the situation in the area where security should have been the top priority. Neither there was a fence along the rail line nor were security personnel manning the gate.
Sidhu, who came to inspect the terminal following complaints from traders, was accompanied by divisional railway manager (DRM) Naresh Chand Goel. Traders present at the terminal stressed that due to lack of facilities, goods were getting damaged. Maintaining that leaking roofs and lack of safety put the trade and traders in jeopardy, they demanded the upgradation of facilities.
During rains, the approach road gets waterlogged and becomes messy. Several bags of cement imported from Pakistan, which were kept in the open, were completely damaged.
Sidhu urged the DRM to look into the matter and improve facilities so that traders, who spend lakh of rupees, don't face problems. The DRM asked the officials concerned to work on improving infrastructure and ensure that no shed leaks.
Goel suggested deployment of a coordinating officer who can monitor the infrastructure and act as bridge between railways and traders so that the facilities can be improved.
"There are plenty of things, which are needed to be set right. Trade and traders are really important and it is our duty to provide them best facilities," Sidhu said after the inspection.
The DRM had been especially asked to visit the terminal so that he can see the ground reality. He assured that the railways will upgrade infrastructure. "I will offer whatever help is required from me," he added.