Chandigarh, Dec 9– Haryana Chief Minister, Mr. Manohar Lal, today said that all the railway stations in the State would be modernised and given new look in accordance with the religious and cultural importance of that area. In the same series, the design of Railway Station, Kurukshetra would be linked with the message of lord Krishna.
The Chief Minister was speaking as Chief Guest in a programme where he, alongwith Union Minister for Railways, Mr. Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, flagged off a new train between Kurukshetra and Mathura at the railway station in Kurukshetra. They also laid the foundation stone of work for upgradation of passenger amenities at the railway station.
The Chief Minister said that Haryana and the Railways have formed a Joint Venture Company for development of rail infrastructure in the State. He said that all the new rail projects in the State would be undertaken with the assistance of this Company.
The new express train number 11901/11902 would run between Kurukshetra and Mathura five days a week. The train would start its journey from Kurukshetra at 2.55pm, and it would reach Mathura at 9.40pm after passing through railways stations at Karnal, Panipat, Samalkha, Sonipat, Subzi Mandi, New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Faridabad, Palwal, Kosikalan and Chhata. On its return journey, the train would start from Mathura at 5.30am and would reach Kurukshetra at 12.40pm. The train would cover 298 kilometres in 7.10 hours. It would have 12 Deen Dayal Coaches equipped with latest facilities.
The Chief Minister said that the new train would benefit the passengers of both Kurukshetra and Mathura in a big way. He also urged the Union Railways Minister to name the new train as Gita Jayanti Express. He also urged that the train run all seven days a week during the various fairs organised from time to time at both Kurukshetra and Mathura, which are known for their religious and cultural significance. Apart from this, he also urged that the train also have a halt at Vrindavan Road.
Mr. Manohar Lal said that in Haryana, rail was considered as a symbol of progress. He said that with the assistance of the Railways Ministry, all the manned and unmanned crossings in the State would be replaced either with underpass or railway over bridges. While expressing his gratitude to the Railways Minister, Mr. Manohar Lal said that Mr. Prabhu had always favourably considered the demands raised in the interests of Haryana. He said that a fortnight ago, he had met the Union Minister and requested him to start a new train between Kurukshetra and Mathura during the International Gita Mahotsav-2016, which he accepted immediately.
The Chief Minister said that the State Government provides financial assistance to the pilgrims who intend to undertake religious yatras. This year, the government has provided financial assistance to the pilgrims for visiting Kailash Mansarovar and for Sindhu Darshan. Now by expanding the scope of this facility, it has also been decided to provide financial assistance to those visiting Nankana Sahib and other religious destinations so as further promote the places of religious importance.
Speaking on this occasion, Union Railways Minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, said that as Kurukshetra was a religious destination which depicted our ancient culture, it had been decided to undertake new works associated with railways in Kurukshetra by investing a huge amount of money. This would not only attract more tourists to this place, but also provide more employment opportunities to the youth. He lamented that for the last many years, required investment for development of rail infrastructure in the State was missing. However, under the able leadership of Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, growth rate of 100 per cent has been registered in Haryana in terms of investment in Railways during the last two years. Haryana has the potential to become an industrialised State, he added.
Mr. Prabhu said that the joint venture company between Haryana Government and Railways has been formed and Railway would invest more for strengthening rail infrastructure in Haryana. This would result in attracting more industries to Haryana, increase revenue and provide employment to youth. He said as Haryana is known for its greenery, Railway has also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Haryana Government under which saplings would be planted on the vacant land on both sides of the railway lines.
He said that various steps were being taken for the upgradation of railway stations in Haryana. He said that assistance of a French company is being taken for the modernisation of Ambala Railway Station. Apart from this, work has been started on speed-raising on Delhi-Chandigarh route. He also appreciated the decision of the Chief Minister to celebrate International Gita Mahotsav.
Member of Parliament from Rajya Sabha, Mr. Ram Kumar Kashyap, thanked the Chief Minister and Union Railways Minister for staring a new train between Kurukshetra and Mathura and said that this rail service would not only immensely benefit the passengers of both places, but would also cater to the needs of passengers in the other areas through which this train would pass.
Member of Parliament, Mr. Raj Kumar Saini said that with the efforts of the Chief Minister, the Railways Ministry had sanctioned Rs 26 crore for the construction of over bridge at railway crossing in Kurukshetra and under bridge near Dhola in the district, which would provide great relief from traffic jams.
General Manager, Northern Railways, Mr. A.K. Puthia spoke about the activities being undertaken by the Railways.
MLA, Mr. Subhash Sudha also spoke on this occasion.