Khatkar Kalan (SBS Nagar): Gurdeep Singh: In a first of its kind project, the Indian Railways and the Punjab government have decided to form a joint company to fast track 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 Mr. 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.
Mr 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, Mr 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 Mr. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mr. 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 paying homage to martyrs, Mr. Prabhu lauded the sacrifices made by the Punjabis during freedom struggle. He said Punjab had also made the country self reliant on food security front as well as protecting the borders of the countries.
In his address, Punjab Deputy CM recalled the immense contribution of Punjabis especially Sikhs in the freedom movement. He said he had got an opportunity to visit Andaman Island, where he read in a commemoration plaque that 80 per cent of those who gave their lives for freedom struggle were Punjabis. To create awareness among the young generation about freedom struggle, he said Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal had established Jang-e-Azadi memorial besides Virasat-e-Khalsa, and Ghallugara memorials to conserve and propogate our heritage and culture.
Mr. Badal also informed the people that the NDA government had approved various projects for Punjab just within 9 months of its formation. He said Railway Minister’s go ahead for linking Anandpur Sahab with Amritsar and Rs. 20000 crore road projects by Surface Highways Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari would give a new boost to the ongoing development in the state. He announced that in the next two years all major roads to be four lane and six lane.
The Deputy CM also said that he had challenged Mr. Sunil Jakhar in Vidhan Sabha to showcase a single important project which Capt Amarinder Singh government had achieved in its five year term. He said on the other hand SAD-BJP regime had promised and made Punjab a power surplus state. He said by July Punjab would witness 2174 Sewa Kendras in rural and urban areas to provide more than 200 citizen centric services at the doorsteps.
Mr. Badal also announced that in next one and half year 100 percent water and sewerage facilities would be provided in all towns and cities at a cost of Rs 3,500 crore. He said in rural areas Rs 20 to 25 crore would be provided in each constituency to ensure all essential services including repair of link roads.
Extending an emotional appeal to the young generation, Mr. Badal said youngsters should ensure not to get ensnared into drugs. He said Punjab government was encouraging its mother sport Kabaddi and now have decided to encourage Desi Kushti and traditional martial art Gatka in the state. He also disclosed that to promote sports, Punjab had setup Punjab Institute of Sports, where 6000 budding sportspersons would be imparted free coaching, training, diet and accommodation facilities.
While thanking the Railways Minister for introducing unique center-states joint company, Mr. 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.
Member Parliament Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Mr. Ajit Singh Kohar, Mr. Madan Mohan Mittal, Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema, Mr. Sohan Singh Thandal(all cabinet ministers), Chaudhary Nand Lal, Bibi Mohinder Kaur Josh, Mr. Som Parkash, Mr. Avinash Chander, Mr. Pawan Kumar Tinu (all Chief Parliamentary Secretaries), Bibi Jagir Kaur, Mr. Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Mr. Gurpartap Singh Wadala and Mr. Pargat Singh and Thekedar Surinder Singh Bhulewal Rathan (all MLAs), Mr. Tikshan Sud, Advisor to Chief Minister, Mr. Arunesh Shakir former Minister, Dr. S.K. Sukhi, chairman District Planning Committee and Bibi Satinder Kaur Kariha also spoke on the occasion.