Bathinda, November 12
BJP leader Mohan Lal Garg has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, demanding a rail link to Takht Shri Damdama Sahib at Talwandi Sabo.
He said a few years ago a survey was conducted by the Railways to connect Damdama Sahib but the project was lying abandoned for unknown reasons. He said Damdama Sahib being the fifth takht of Sikhs was of utmost important for all religions, especially Sikhs, as lakhs of devotees visited the shrine every year but due to non-connectivity of railways faced problems.
He demanded a fresh survey to be conducted to connect Talwandi Sabo with Bathinda in the interest of public.
In 2013, then Union Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had announced in the Budget that Damdama Sahib would be connected with the rail link but after a survey nothing further materialised due to opposition from farmers where the track was to be laid.
In February 2013, during the UPA-2 regime, Bansal had sanctioned a 34-km track from Maur to Rama Mandi via Talwandi Sabo, connecting the Takht in Bathinda. After conducting a location survey in 2015, the Railways officials had handed over a report to the state government in August 2016, but since then the matter has seen no progress.
Damdama Sahib is the only takht that is not connected with a rail link. All other takhts — Harmandar Sahib, Kesgarh Sahib, Hazur Sahib (Nanded) and Patna Sahib — have rail connectivity. Devotees coming here have to first reach Bathinda on train and from there they have to hire a cab or bus for 30 km to reach the gurdwara. Besides, the rail link to Talwandi Sabo is crucial due to the presence of a thermal plant in the area. — TNS
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