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Indian Railways and Punjab govt eye JV to fast track rail infra projects

Upgrading important stations along with modernisation of Amritsar station will be first initiative under partnership

Vijay C Roy  |  Chandigarh 

In a first of its kind project, the Indian Railways and the Punjab government have decided to form a joint venture company to fasttrack planned rail projects in the state as well as take up new projects, including creation of ultra modern railway stations and laying new railway tracks.

Announcing a first of its own kind joint development venture for the railways here along with Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal after attending a public rally Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said the new venture would transform the Indian Railways and make it a truly modern entity.

Addressing the media after paying homage to the great martyrs Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at the ancestral village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, the Railways minister said the initiative would result in connecting missing rail links in the state besides modernising important stations with modernising of the Amritsar station being the first initiative under this partnership.

Sukhbir Badal disclosed that the new Amritsar railway station would have a shopping mall besides modern office spaces. He said with a decision on this already being taken in principle Punjab would be the first station to be taken up for modernisation under this scheme in the country.

Meanwhile speaking at the public rally, Prabhu announced that the railway station here would be upgraded and the train service would be started between Jaijon Doaba and Amritsar via Nawan Shahr and Khatkar Kalan.

On the demand put forth by local MP, Prem Singh Chandumajra, Prabhu assured survey of new railway track between Rahon and Samrala to connect Khatkar Kalan with rest of country. He said Union Government has also decided to connect all commercial towns near to the borders with railway tracks. He said necessary discussions in this regard have been held between Railway and Defence Ministries.

While thanking the Railways Minister for introducing unique center-states joint company, Badal demanded that to link Malwa with state capital, a missing rail link between Rajpura and Mohali, should be undertaken on priority basis besides linking Punjab and Himachal Pradesh by laying track between Anandpur Sahib and Garhshankar.

First Published: Mon, March 23 2015. 18:28 IST