NewZNew (Bathinda/Mansa) : Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal today flagged off Shatabdi Express train between Bathinda-New Delhi to facilitate the people of the Malwa region with much fanfare along with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal.
After the flagging off ceremony, Mrs Harsimrat Badal said she had urged the Union Railway minister to attach extra bogeys with refrigeration facility in the passenger train for transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables and processed food items to various parts of the country to give boost to the food processing sector. Mrs. Badal also promised to take up the issue with Railway ministry to make the train run entire week and also proposed to extend it up to Ferozepur.
While talking to media-persons, Deputy Chief Minister Punjab Mr. Sukhbir Badal said the starting of this train would usher in an era of economic development and prosperity in the region. He said rail connectivity to Delhi had become a major requirement with the commissioning of Guru Gobind Singh Refinery as Bathinda had emerged as a petro-chemical hub. He said besides this the establishment of prestigious projects like Talwandi Sabo Thermal Power Plant, Central University of Punjab and Hotel Management Institute Bathinda had necessitated the sanctioning of Shatabdi Express train on this route.
Earlier, prominent persons and large number of enthusiastic area people received the train at Bathinda Railway station in a jubilation mood. The residents of Bathinda and surrounding areas had for a long time been demanding Shatabadi between Bathinda and Delhi Route via Jakhal-Rohtak to facilitate the people of Malwa belt.
Earlier in the morning, Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal along with Union Minister for Railway Suresh Prabhu had flagged off the train at New Delhi Railway station.
Mrs. Harsimrat said that the people of the region, especially the residents of Bathinda had been demanding this train since long adding that that the local residents had been continuously impressing upon her to take up the matter with the Ministry of Railways to run a Shatabdi Express from Bathinda to Delhi via Jakhal-Rohtak to facilitate the people of region for a comfortable and speedy journey towards the national capital. Mrs. Badal also pointed out that as several people from the area have to go to Delhi for boarding international flights therefore this train was all the more important for them. She also informed that as the people from other states, especially the Army and Air Force personnel, frequently visit Bathinda due to Air Force Station and Army Cantonment located here to enable them a hassle free journey to the city.
The Bathinda-Delhi route will be covered in 4 hours and 45 minutes. The train will leave from New Delhi to Bathinda at 9 am in the morning and reach Bathinda at 1.45 pm. The same train will leave for Delhi from Bathinda at 4.15 pm in the evening and reach Delhi railway station at 9 pm in the night. The Shatabdi Express between Bathinda and Delhi was announced by the then Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gauda in his maiden rail budget speech earlier this year.
The residents of areas in and around the city eagerly waited for the Shatabdi Express and jump in celebration mood on the arrival of train at Platform Number 5. The train not only provides another link to the people of Bathinda and surrounding areas, but almost the entire Malwa region, with a stoppage at Mansa and parts of Haryana including the areas surrounding Jind and Rohtak.
Expressing happiness over the development, the area people thanked the Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Rajya Sabha MP Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder along with senior party leaders travelled from Delhi to Bathinda. Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mr Sarup Chand Singla, MLA Mr Darshan Singh Kotfatta, former chairman Bathinda Improvement Trust Mr Mohan Lal Garg, former Mayor Mr Baljit Singh Beerbehman, Deputy Commissioner Bathinda Dr. Basant Garg, DIG Bathinda Amar Singh Chahal, SSP Mr Inder Mohan Singh Bhatti, press secretary SAD Bathinda Dr Om Prakash Sharma, DRM Mr Anil Kumar Kathpal, and senior Railway officials were also present on the occasion.
Meanwhile at Mansa, MLA Mr Prem Mittal, MLA Mr Chatin Singh Samao, Deputy Commissioner Mansa Mr Praveen Kumar Thind, SSP Mr Bhupinder Singh Khattra and others were also present.
Travellers elated as Shatabdi comes to Bathinda:
When Shatabdi Express pulled into platform number 5 at Bathinda station on Thursday for the first time, passengers went ecstatic. For those who were waiting for it to happen, it signaled an end of a long and excruciating wait.