Thursday, August 9, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

66 years gone, but no rail line
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Qadian (Gurdaspur), August 8
The project to lay a railway line from Qadian the headquarters of Ahmadiya Muslims to Ambala has been hanging fire for the past 66 years. A survey in this regard was conducted during the British regime in 1935.

The land acquired for a railway station and the rail line was either bought by farmers at throwaway prices or was grabbed by influential persons in connivance with the authorities concerned.

Qadian is the place where the founder of the Ahmadiya movement, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was born, brought up and buried.

The remains of the platform and the rail line present the indifferent attitude of the successive governments towards the project.

Locals said the laying of the rail line was the idea of Sir Zafarula Khan, former minister of Pakistan. However, after partition, he migrated to Pakistan and the work came to a standstill.

As per the original design, Qadian was to be linked with Beas.

Tarsem Singh (70), a resident of Bhangru village, said in 1935 a rail line was being laid to connect Qadian with Beas station. He showed The Tribune team the holes on the river bridge where the track was to be laid. He said most of the farmers had been ploughing the land acquired by the British government to link Qadian with Beas. There was also a proposal to link Qadian with Pakistan. However, the entire project was shelved due to the partition of the country.

Atma Singh (81), a resident of Bassrawan village, and brother of Darshan Singh, a retired Air Marshal, said a railway station was also constructed by the British government at that time. However, with the ploughing of the entire land, there were no remains of the station now. The railway station was constructed in Bhamri village, near Qadian. 

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