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In his maiden Rail Budget, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday gave city residents a reason to cheer, introducing new trains from here and making a number of long-distance trains to pass through the city.
The budget was unique for the city residents as it was for the first time that the Railway Minister happened to be the local MP. Bansal was given charge of the ministry in October last year.
Among the trains announced for the city, Chandigarh-Amritsar Intercity Express via Mohali and Ludhiana will ply daily. While a Superfast Express between Amritsar and Chandigarh was already plying, it used to depart from Amritsar in the morning and reach Chandigarh and make its return journey in the evening. The demand of the city residents was that a parallel train that starts from Chandigarh in the morning be started. The demand has now been met.
A weekly Express train between Chandigarh and Indore was also announced.
There are several long-distance trains that will now pass through Chandigarh. The weekly Una/Nangal Dam- Hazoor Saheb Nanded Express will pass through Chandigarh, Anandpur Sahib, Morinda and Ambala. The Amritsar-Lalkuan weekly express train will pass through Chandigarh. The Chandigarh-Lucknow Express will be extended to Patna.
With the much-awaited Chandigarh-Ludhiana Rail link likely to be functional by March, some trains will be able to pass through this. A train between Kalka and Katra via Morinda has been announced. This will pass through Chandigarh.
Some long-pending demands of the city residents have also been met. The minister announced doubling of the Chandigarh-Dappar line. Once the doubling of track is done, the frequency of trains from Chandigarh could increase. A new line will be laid between Chandigarh and Yamunanagar via Sadhaura, Narayangarh. These demands figured frequently on the wish list of the city residents, but every year the budget disappointed.