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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Railways to conduct feasibility survey to provide connectivity to five Takhts

Navrajdeep Singh   Patiala, November 17, 2013
First Published: 22:27 IST(17/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:58 IST(17/11/2013)

Keeping in view the religious sentiments of Sikhs, the union railway department will carry out a feasibility survey to provide connectivity to all five Sikh Takhts.

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On his visit to Sangrur district on Sunday, union railway minister M Mallikarjun Kharge agreed to take up the matter with the senior officials of the railway department soon after Sangrur MP Vijayinder Singla demanded running a separate train connecting all these religious places.

The five Takhts are Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Sri Damdama Sahib, Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Sri Hazur Sahib and Sri Patna Sahib.

"The officials will be directed to conduct a feasibility study, and if viable, the new train will be started to facilitate travelling for pilgrims to the above religious places," Kharge said.

"Sensing religious sentiments and emergent need of the people, the possible decision will be taken in the coming year in order to provide opportunity to travel to these Sikh shrines at a low cost by train on a regular basis," he said.

Kharge said Kanayakumari would be connected directly with Jammu and Kashmir through a rail link with the completion of the Udhampur-Katra rail line in the coming one and a half years. "Not only this, passengers will travel on a single ticket to Kashmir from anywhere in the country," he said. "The new line will be a boon to pilgrims travelling to pilgrimages, including Sri Vaishno Devi," Kharge added.

           
Meanwhile, the residents of Lehragaga and Dhuri in Sangrur district can have a sigh of relief as Kharge laid the foundation stone of a railway under-bridge (RUB) and a railway over-bridge (ROB) at the level railway crossings in both towns, respectively.

The railway department claimed that work on these major projects would be finished in the coming two years.

Owing to heavy rail traffic and busy route, the residents of both the towns have been facing a lot of inconvenience for the past many years. 

The estimated cost of the RUB at Lehragaga railway crossing is Rs. 7 crore, of which 50% will be paid by the railway department while the rest will be shared by the state government and the MP local area development (MPLAD) fund.

However, in Dhuri, the railway department will construct an iron bridge for lighter vehicles passing over the middle of the main market.

"The tenders for both the projects have already been allotted to a private company which will start construction in the coming days," he said.

The union minister also laid the foundation stone of electrification of the 123km Jakhal-Dhuri-Ludhiana railway line estimated at Rs. 126 crore, besides the token-less and colour light signalling system costing the railway department Rs. 49 crore.

Meanwhile, Kharge also directed railway officials to conduct a detailed survey for doubling of the Jakhal-Dhuri-Ludhiana rail line.

Meeting the long-pending demand of the locals, Kharge gave nod for stoppage of the Ajmer-Amritsar Express at the Sangrur railway station and the Dauladhar Express at Lehragaga railway station.

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