Appearing to justify the hike in passenger fares in the railway budget, railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that such hikes were necessary to ensure sound economic condition of the railways. He added that such steps were necessary to ensure that the railways can continue to offer better facilities to passengers.
Interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of the bhog ceremony of Congress leader and Padma Shri Rana Moti Singh, he added that the organisation needed nearly Rs. 1 lakh crore in the next 10 years to complete pending projects.
To the oft-repeated charge that Punjab had been ignored by his ministry, he claimed that his colleagues in Parliament had been critical of him for disproportionate attention to Punjab.
He said that he proposed to take up a new line between Ferozepur and Patti for providing direct rail link between border areas of Ferozepur and Amritsar/Attari and increasing connectivity with religious shrines in Amritsar, Talwandi Sabo and Anandpur Sahib.
Members of 'Jago Nawanshahr' submitted a memorandum demanding the start of a new train between Nawanshahr to Amritsar and restoration of suspended trains in the region. Bansal said that he would first speak with his department officials and only then will he take a call.
Jalandhar MP Mohinder Singh KayPee, Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, MLA Samrala Amrik Singh Dhillon, congress leaders Rana KP, Jagmohan Kang and district president Satveer Singh Palli Jhiiki were present at the function.
Ferozepur divisional railway manager NC Goyal also visited Nawanshahr railway station and inspected the services offered. He added that a survey was on to assess the feasibility of connecting Rahon-Samrala-Khanna railway line to connect Nawanshahr.