More than 110 years after the track was laid, the city it divides has come together to seek its first railway over-bridge (ROB).
The people of this city have moved the Punjab and Haryana high court to seek the clearing of encroachment to make way for the ROB on the Jalalabad road railway crossing on the Fazilka-Kotakpura section. The municipal council is reluctant to respond to their call for the ROB on the 110-year-old line that trisects the city.
Historical city Muktsar continues to live in the past, with no ROB or under bridge on any of its two railway crossings on the Kotakpura-Fazilka line. The Railways do not spend on building the ROBs on crossings where traffic is less than 1 lakh passenger car unit (PCU). Traffic on the parallel lines (which is one actually) a kilometre apart is below this limit. However, in such cases, the state government spends money to construct the ROB.
In 2008, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had announced to lay a railway over-bridge on the Jalalabad road crossing. A Gurgaon company is said to be in talks with the Punjab government for building the ROB, but it wants the municipal council to hand over the required land on both sides of the line, which the MC has not yet been able to arrange.
In the 110-year lifespan of the track, illegal colonies and shops have come up on a huge area on either side. For any bridge to be built, the encroachment will have to be removed, for which neither the administration nor political leaders are willing to take any step.
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