As the Modi government rolled out its maiden railway budget, there was not much to cheer for this holy city.
During his budget speech, railway minister Sadananda Gowda announced two trains for the city — Jansadharan Express from Amritsar to Saharsa (Bihar) and a weekly train from Amritsar to Nagpur (Maharashtra).
However, there was no mention about the fate of the Patti-Ferozepur rail link, which could shorten the distance from Amritsar to Mumbai by 200 km. This link was proposed long ago, but the expectations of local residents remain unfulfilled so far.
Though the minister laid stress on issues of cleanliness and security of women, residents feel only time will tell whether his words could bring about any change at the ground level. As far as cleanliness is concerned, things are in a pathetic condition at Amritsar railway station.
Though the railways have announced in the past that Amritsar would be a ‘model railway station’ but the ground reality looks different. People sleeping on the floors, garbage all around the platforms and water-logging in the parking arena—all this adds up to make things messy. As a large number of tourists visit the city, cleanliness is one issue that really needs to be taken on priority.