Chandigarh, Punjab: Pitching in for the rescue of train passengers of Malwa, hitherto marginalised largely by the Indian Railways in terms of fast and better connectivity, Member of Parliament from Bathinda Harsimrat Kaur Badal has written letters to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee for making residents’ train travel a convenient and pleasant experience besides drawing her attention towards the plight of passengers.
Giving voice to the long pending demand of the commuters, the MP sought introduction of a Shatabdi/Janshatabdi train between Ferozepur and Delhi via Bathinda, Mansa, Jakhal, Rohtak.
Drawing Railway Minister’s attention towards plight of passengers, Harsimrat wrote that over the years, railways had not paid sufficient attention in developing this route. Resultantly, there are very few trains connecting Delhi as compared to other routes.
Bathinda and Ferozepur are very important destinations. Apart from having one of the biggest Air Force Station and Cantonment, Bathinda is a major city and has large number of commuters, but in absence of trains, most of them are forced to commute on private vehicles, she stated and added that introduction of a Up/Down Shatabdi/Janshatabdi train had been the long standing demand of Bathinda.
It may be mentioned that there is no superfast train between Bathinda and India’s national capital – New Delhi— during the day time.
The Bathinda MP has also drawn the attention of Railway Minister towards another demand of the passengers i.e. additional AC chair car in the Sriganganagar-Delhi Inter City (2482/2481).
She writes that presently there is one AC chair car coach that falls largely insufficient to accommodate passengers and one finds heavy waitlist. She also demanded allocation of VIP quota for Bathinda AC chair car and HQ quota on the train.
It may be recalled that passengers of the area and their associations, including the Rail Passengers Association, Northern Zone, have been demanding one more AC chair car in the train. The Railways have withdrawn one of the two AC coaches from the Inter City Express citing economic non-viability and lack of passengers as the reasons.
However, the passengers have been terming the reason as unfounded saying that long waitlist for AC chair car certainly suggests that there was a demand for AC coaches in the train.
Besides, Harsimrat has also urged the Railway Minister for restoration of service of the 2BD/3BD train between Bathinda and Dhuri.
Harsimrat writes that on the demands of local passengers of Bathinda, the train was introduced and it was the most convenient train but it was abruptly cancelled in November 2008. Local passengers have been demanding for restoring the train and were agitated, she stated.
Even railway officials are of view that the area needs a train between Bathinda and Dhuri. “A Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) between Bathinda-Dhuri is the need of the hour,” a senior railway official said.