The announcement of two new trains, including a Jan Shatabdi, has signalled joy in this border district.
One of the trains will run to New Delhi and the other to Rishikesh via Haridwar. Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has announced the decision. On Monday, people greeted the news by distributing sweets.
Since Independence, no new major train was ever awarded to this border district, even though it has the divisional office of Northern Railway. "At last, there is change," said Dharamjit Singh, a local businessman.
Ferozepur, being a city of martyrs and home to various historical places, is a potential tourist hub, and the new trains will create commuting options for visitors, who will inject life into the almost dead economy of the region, social activist KC Arora has said. "The trains will bring Ferozepur on the national map," said veteran educationist HK Gupta.
Before freedom, Ferozepur was the epicentre of trade and business in the region but Partition made it a border district, and trade and industry moved away gradually. The shutting of the Hussainiwala joint checkpoint for trade with Pakistan after the 1971 war dealt a huge blow to Ferozepur's economy.
Congress legislator Parminder Singh Pinki, who lobbied hard for the trains, has thanked railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal for this decision.