Even as the government continues to ignore the demand of local residents, a non-governmental organisation campaign for the launch of a direct rail service between Nawanshahr and Amritsar via Jalandhar is fast gaining support.
More than 20,000 people have signed a memorandum and 100 village panchayats have so far passed resolutions to support of NGO Jago Adhikar Society, which has been working on the issue for the last two years.
In the last rail budget, the NGO was hopeful that the rail service will be launched, or at least a survey done for a track from Rahon to Samrala in Ludhiana to connect Nawanshahr with the rest of India. But hopes were disillusioned.
The NGO then sent a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, whose office sought an action-taken-report from the railway ministry over this.
However, things are as they were.
“We are unlucky to have such weak ministers and public representatives who have done nothing,” said Gurwinder Singh, secretary of the NGO.
“We met former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and the incumbent Suresh Prabhu when they were in Nawanshahr, but they made only false promises.”
Gurwinder rued that Anandpur Sahib MP Prem Singh Chandumajra also “failed to do anything” despite the issue having been a main promise during the general elections last year.
Another representative of the NGO, Dr Barinder Majitha, said earlier there were five trains moving between Jalandhar and Nawanshahr, but now only two, including a diesel multiple units (DMU), remain. “That is really sad,” he said.
Chandumajra said the work on the railway line has been delayed due to expansion of Amritsar railway station and many new platforms were being constructed. Acting Ferozepur divisional railway manager Manju Gupta said the starting of any train depended upon the railway board.