The efforts of the people of the hill state yielded fruit as the Indian Railways has decided to extend the weekly Nangal-Nanded Sahib Express Train to Una.
The railways authorities sent the information on Tuesday. Lok Sabha MP Anurag Thakur will flag off the inaugural run of the train from Una on November 14 at 3.30 pm.
In the last railway budget, the then railways minister, Pawan Bansal, had announced starting of this new weekly express train between Una and Nanded Sahib in Maharashtra. This was done to provide easy access to the sizeable Sikh population that resides in Una of Himachal Pradesh and the adjoining Punjab to visit the holy Sikh shrine of Hazoor Sahib Nanded.
When the railways announced its new timetable on July 1, the terminal station was mentioned as Nangal dam instead of Una. Nangal dam is situated in Ropar district of Punjab and is merely 16 km away from Una. The announcement irked the locals, besides giving a chance to the opposition BJP in launching allegations against the Congress.
Meanwhile, the train actually began its service in September this year between Nangal dam and Nanded. A few protests also ensued at the Una railway station, one of which was led by MP Anurag Thakur, while the other was led by Una MLA and state BJP president Satpal Singh Satti under the banner of local organisation 'Una Janhit Morcha'.
The railway authorities ultimately buckled under public pressure and the train will finally puff out of the Una railway station on Thursday.
The train, on its journey from Nanded to Una, has been numbered 22457 and is numbered 22548 on its return journey. It will start from Nanded on Saturdays at 11am and reach Una at 9pm on Sundays. From Una, it will start every Thursday at 3.30pm and reach Nanded on Fridays at 11.45pm.
During its journey, the train will pass through major cities such as Chandigarh, Ambala, Panipat, Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, Jhansi, Bhopal and Itarsi, giving direct connectivity to the people of Himachal Pradesh at nominal charges. The train is also expected to boost tourism here.
The train will start from Nanded on Saturdays at 11am and reach Una at 9pm on Sundays
From Una, it will start every Thursday at 3.30pm and reach Nanded on Fridays at 11.45pm