Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Abohar-Fazilka rail line to be operational soon

ABOHAR: The Fazilka-Abohar rail link is likely to become operational soon as a team led by the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) will be visiting Abohar and Fazilka on July 11 to give final clearance to the 42-km track.

Foundation stone for the track was laid on February 1, 2004, at the Fazilka railway station by the then railway minister Nitish Kumar, and the project was to be completed by March 2007 at a cost of Rs 84.44 crore. However, a hefty sum of Rs 214.80 crore, about two-and-half times more than the initial cost, has already been spent on the track.

As of now, all the four railway stations on this route are ready. The staff has been posted and trains to run on Bathinda-Abohar-Fazilka route were included in the railway time-table in July 2011. But ever since, trains on this section have run only in the time-table.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that the CSR will visit Abohar and Fazilka track to conduct the final inspection this time. The government has already suffered huge financial losses to the tune of several lakhs due to trains not being run on this completed track," said Amar Lal Baghla, president of Northern Railway Passengers Samiti. He says the running of trains on the track will offer a direct link to the Jammu region and Gujarat when it becomes operational.

If preparations being made by the railway authorities are any indication, it seems the rail track is likely to become operational shortly. Sources in the department informed that the CSR, S C Matkal, is expected to arrive at Abohar on Wednesday morning. He will inspect the track and the railway stations as well. Sources added that the train service is likely to be inaugurated by the Union minister of state for railways K Muniyappa shortly.

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