Abohar/Fazilka, February 25
The residents of Abohar and Fazilka, border towns in Ferozepur district and various villages falling under their respective jurisdiction, had a reason to cheer today as the Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has given an effective hint in connection with the commissioning of the much awaited Abohar-Fazilka rail link for the passengers in the current year. In her railway budget speech delivered in Parliament today, Mamata has sanctioned a new train for the Abohar-Fazilka track, which is likely to be operational by March this year.
Vishwesh Chobey, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Ferozepur, said Banerjee had sanctioned a new train for the Abohar-Fazilka link. Hence, it had become certain that the rail link would start its operation on a commercial basis, this year.
The residents of Abohar and Fazilka regions of Punjab and the adjoining Sriganganagar district of Rajasthan have been waiting for commencing of train service on the Abohar-Fazilka section for the last eight years.
The establishment of the rail link has been delayed and hence, its cost of construction has gone up to Rs 210 crores from the original estimate of Rs 88 crores, which was worked out for it in the initial stage. This important rail link was sanctioned in 2003 by the Ministry of Railways on the consistent demand of people and politicians of these regions. The foundation stone was laid down by the then Union Railway Minister Nitish Kumar in 2004.
The rail link was supposed to be operational in 2007. However, the physical work was almost completed in the recent past and trial run was expected to start any time. The rail link, when becomes operational, will set up direct train connectivity between Ferozepur border district of Punjab and Sriganganagar border district of Rajasthan.
Besides, it would open new rail routes for Abohar and Fazilka. The trade activities in these border towns are also expected to pick up with the commencement of the new rail link.
Raj Sadosh adds: Sweets were distributed in the old grain market area here today after the Railway Minister announced the much-awaited Abohar-Fazilka passenger train. However, Hanuman Dass Goyal, vice-president, Railway Passengers Association, regretted that the minister had not accepted other demands even when scores of memorandums seeking more facilities for the commuters had been sent to her.