BATHINDA: Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday announced that the fastest train in India which will run at 200km per hour will soon be started and it will touch Punjab to reach Delhi through a route which is yet to be identified. He also announced that the fast trains, Tejas and Hamsafar, will be started soon and these too will touch Punjab

Apart from these, the Antyodaya (train for poor sections) and Uday, which will run in the night and reach its destination early morning, will be started soon. He also announced special trains to run from Punjab to Patna Sahib to commemorate the 350th birth anniversary of tenth Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh.

Prabhu asked Punjab government for its consent for a company to carry out the development railway projects. The company with equal equity between railways and the state government will propose the projects and complete these by involving private players through a special purpose vehicle (SPV). Already, 11 states across the nation have given consent for forming such SPV and agreements have already been signed with eight states. Prabhu, who arrived at Bathinda to kick start seven projects, said the formation of this company, still to be named, will pacify the projects.

He said during the 10 years rule of previous UPA government, the annual budget of railways for Punjab was Rs 224 crore which in the past two years have been increased to Rs 700 crore and it will be increased further. During these two years, 10 road over bridges (Rob) and 78 road under bridges (Rub) have been constructed. He announced that soon the railway stations of world-class standards at Jalandhar and Amritsar will be constructed.

Prabhu said Punjab’s favour to the nation in terms of giving food grains and securing the borders cannot be returned but still efforts are made by working on rail projects. He laid the foundation stone of the doubling of 172km track between Bathinda-Rajpura to be built in four years with Rs 1,720 crore and started the 53km-long double track from Bathinda to Mansa. He also laid stone for 16 low height subways (LHS). He inaugurated the railway station at Beas, food plaza at Ferozepur and five water vending machines at Bathinda railway station from a single platform.

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