Saturday, 27 February 2016
Residents set high hopes on Rail Budget
Residents have pinned high hopes on the Union Rail Budget which is scheduled to be presented tomorrow in the Lok Sabha by Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Residents’ wishlist that include regularisation of the Bathinda-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, Banaras special train and Nanded Express, starting of new trains, extension of washing line and initiation work on the Takth Damdama Sahib-Rama Mandi link that was announced in the previous rail budget, is endless.
Residents have demanded that the 13111 Lal Quila Express, 12451 Shram Shakti Express, 12559 Shivganga Express and 12555 Gorakhdham Express be extended to Bathinda from Delhi. As these trains remained stationed at Delhi for a long time, hence, these can be extended to Bathinda.
Mahesh Kumar, a city resident, said these long route trains should be extended to Bathinda as there were a large number of passengers in the city who change trains from Delhi for their further journey and the move would provide a relief to them as in that case they had to board only one train.
Poor rail connectivity of the Malwa region with the rest of the state is hampering the development of the region. Several proposals forwarded in the past have not been implemented. More trains between Bathinda to Amritsar and Ludhiana should be started.
Sukhdeep Singh, a trader, said there was a need to increase trains between Bathinda and the major cities of the state. The railway minister must announce more trains to improve railway connectivity between Bathinda to Amritsar and Ludhiana. Many passengers had to travel to these major cities of the state from the city, but due to less connectivity, they had to travel by bus.
Change in time sought
Passengers are also demanding that the scheduled time of the Shatabdi Express should be changed as it should depart from Bathinda to Delhi in the morning and it should return to Bathinda from Delhi in the evening. At present it runs from Delhi for the city at 9 am and then leaves for Delhi from Bathinda in the evening at 4.15 pm on two days (Monday and Saturday) only.
Dr Ajay Garg, another resident, said Shatabdi Express had failed to get a lukewarm response as the timings of the train were not suitable as instead of running from Delhi at 9 am, it should have gone from Bathinda at 6 am and in the evening it should depart from Delhi for Bathinda, then it would have benefited traders in the city.
Basic amenities needed
There are no ramps on any of platforms for physically challenged. The foot overbridge does not have the ramp facility which can be used by physically challenged to ride their tricycles. The steep flight of stairs on the foot overbridge is impossible to ascend due to which it is difficult for the physically challenged and elderly to reach platforms for boarding a train.
Even no wheelchair or stretcher is available at the railway station, particularly during night hours for the physically challenged, sick and senior citizens to board the train.
Gurmeet Singh, resident, said the railway minister must take the initiative in the Budget to uplift facilities and security for passengers at the station and on trains as well.
Separate women coaches
Residents have also demanded to introduce seperate coaches for women in trains. Atul Garg, a local resident, said many a times women travel alone. If there are separate coaches for women, then it will provide safety to them.
Many states have set up separate departments to look after the pace of rail projects, but Punjab does not have a separate department for the purpose.
Source : The Tribune , 24th Feb 2016