In view of persistent demand expressed by residents of Chandigarh, Sh. Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Railways today announced the decision to introduce a new third Shatabdi train from Chandigarh to New Delhi from January 2013. At present there are two pairs of Shatabdi trains running between Chandigarh and Delhi and there has been an urgent need to introduce another Shatabdi train in view of the rush in the present Shatabdis.
Speaking to media persons at the Chandigarh railway station here today, the Minister said that the work of doubling the Ambala – Chandigarh section is already under progress. The previous sanction was for doubling part stretch of this section from Ambala to Dhappar only. The work for doubling of rest of the section is being considered for sanction during 2013-14.
For the up-gradation of Chandigarh Railway station, Northern Railway has already prepared a master plan which was discussed in detail. The Minister directed that this plan should include facilities such as uplifting of façade of the station building, provision of new waiting halls, provision of well ventilated toilets, improvement in circulating area so as to reduce congestion and provisions of escalators with a landing in circulating area. Sh Bansal directed the officers that work for the provision of these facilities should be taken up on priority basis with strict time frame for completion of works.
He also informed that the Railway Administration plans to provide luggage trolleys at the railway stations on the pattern of airports. Similarly, instructions have been issued to provide wheel chairs for disabled persons at all the major stations of Indian Railways.
DRM, Ambala informed that the site for new Food plaza has been identified and a contract for construction and running of the same has been allotted by IRCTC. This will meet the urgent requirement of food and refreshments for the travelling public. The Minister directed that the facility should be commissioned at the earliest. In view of the urgent need to create more parking space, the Minister directed that a new facility should be created which will be a multi-level parking combined with a multifunctional complex.
Earlier, Sh. Bansal inspected the morning Shatabdi Express between New Delhi and Chandigarh. He was accompanied by Sh H K Jaggi, Secretary, Railway Board and Sh P K Sanghi, Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Division of Northern Railway. Sh Bansal inspected the catering arrangements and took feedback from the passengers so as to improve the services. Some passengers gave valuable suggestions such as provision of Wi-fi Services in the train, audio-visual entertainment system, luggage trolleys at the stations and provision of wet tissues for passengers traveling in chair car too. Some passengers narrated the hardships of non-availability of local transport in Delhi area. The Minister directed the Railway officers present to take necessary corrective action immediately.