Bansal’s wish: Fast train between city and Delhi
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Access to hassle-free and comfortable rail journey to passengers, and ensuring safety and security would be among the priorities of Union Minister Pawan Bansal who was given charge of the Railway Ministry after the Cabinet reshuffle on Sunday. Bansal, who is enjoying the third consecutive stint as an MP from Chandigarh, said he would work to improve the physical and economic health of the Railways.
For a city that has just one MP, Bansal has held several portfolios over the years. Until recently, he was holding the charge of Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources. In UPA-I, he was the Minister of State for Finance.
Bansal's elevation has rekindled hopes for the region which has been neglected by subsequent Railway Ministers. For almost two decades, the ministry has been held by regional allies whether it was UPA or NDA at the Centre. Due to this, most of the sops have been doled out to the states of Bihar and West Bengal.
Talking about his vision for Chandigarh, Bansal said he hoped to ensure that the city would be well-connected. "A fast train between Chandigarh and Delhi is one of my wishes. I had earlier demanded a link between Chandigarh and Dehradun. Connectivity to Yamunanagar and Baddi would be explored. I would look at the feasibility of proposals for different states once I join office," he told Chandigarh Newsline on the phone from New Delhi.
Until now, the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh have received a raw deal with the budget announcements not having much in store for the region. Whether it is enhancing connectivity, laying of new railway lines or proposals for electrification, the sops for the region have been minimal. In fact, several proposals have been stuck for years. However, Bansal said, "My duty is to look after the entire country and ensure that all states get their share. Punctuality of trains, cleanliness both inside trains and at railway stations would be the other priority areas."
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