With the Union railway budget just around the corner, residents of Bhogpur town are hoping that their long-pending demand of constructing the Bhogpur-Sirwal junction, one of the stoppages for major trains that go through the area, would be fulfilled this time.
The residents have been running from pillar to post with the demand for the last 10 years but have received nothing but assurances from ministers and railway officials.
AK Puthia, general manager of Northern Railways, who visited the Jalandhar cantonment station in January, termed the demands of Bhogpur residents “unsubstantial” and “non-feasible”. People are now pinning their hopes on the politicians in the region for making their voice heard at the Centre.
“We have requested MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary to hold talks with the Union railway minister and meet our demands on priority,” said Rajesh Khosla, a local businessman who is representing the residents in the area.
MP to raise issue in Parliament
When contacted, Santokh Singh Chaudhary, member of parliament (MP) from Jalandhar, said he would raise the issue in the budget session of Parliament, scheduled to begin on February 23.
“I am aware of the issue and have written to the Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu twice but nothing has been done so far,” said Chaudhary.
“I will raise the issue in the coming budget session and will question the minister as to why nothing has been done even after several intimations,” the MP said. Chaudhary said he would also ask the ministry to upgrade Jalandhar city railway station as it would be competing for smart city tag in the second phase of the scheme.
Residents threaten ‘rail-roko’ in February-end
Meanwhile, members of the Bhogpur-based Navyug Club informed HT that they would be staging a ‘rail-roko’ protest by the end of this month if their demands were not met.
On December 30, Bhogpur residents had staged a rail-roko dharna for pressing the issue, following which railway traffic inspector Ashok Kumar had intervened and gave a written assurance saying that a decision in this regard would be taken within a month.
Some of the express mails whose stoppage the residents have been demanding are Kashmir Mail, Somnath Express, Sealdah Express, Dhauladhar Express, Madras Express, Hemkunt Express and Howrah Express.