As union minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal flagged off the Bathinda - Delhi Shatabadi here on Thursday, the fear of lack of passengers was visible in their address.
Both the leaders urged Bathinda residents to make sure the train, which will ply on Saturday and Monday, did not fall short of passengers.
Sukhbir and Harsimrat Kaur said the train had been launched but they would seek a change in its timings to make it successful, maintaining that the residents of Bathinda should make the venture a success by making it their preferred mode of travel.
After the flagging-off ceremony, Harsimrat said she had urged the railway minister to attach extra bogeys to the refrigeration facility in the passenger train for transportation of fresh fruits, vegetables and processed food items to various parts of the country to give boost to the food processing sector.
She also promised to take up the issue with the railway ministry to ensure the train runs the entire week and also proposed extending its service upto Ferozepur.
In a lighter vein, Sukhbir asked chief parliamentary secretary and local MLA Sarup Chand Singla to ensure adequate number of passengers on the train.
Talking to mediapersons, Sukhbir said the starting of the train would usher in an era of economic development and prosperity in the region. He said rail connectivity to Delhi had become a major requirement with the commissioning of the Guru Gobind Singh Refinery as Bathinda had emerged as a petro-chemical hub.
He said besides this, the establishment of prestigious projects like Talwandi Sabo Thermal Power Plant, Central University of Punjab and Hotel Management Institute had necessitated the sanctioning of the Shatabdi on this route.
Departure from Bathinda: 4:20 pm
Arrival at Delhi: 9:10 pm
Departure from Delhi: 9 pm
Arrival at Bathinda: 1:45 am
Bathinda - Delhi fare in AC chair car: Rs 710
Bathinda- Delhi fare in executive class: Rs 1345
Total number of coaches: Eight
Coaches with AC chair car: Seven
Coaches with executive class facility: One
Total AC chair car seats: 388
Total executive class Seats: 46