Writes a letter to Ministry of Railways & Ministry of Civil Aviation
January 25, 2021: The non-governmental organization (NGO), Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) has urged the Ministry of Railways, Government of India to consider start/termination of proposed alignment for the Detailed Project Report (DPR) study of the 465km Delhi-Chandigarh-Ludhiana-Amritsar high speed ‘Bullet Train Project” to Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport Amritsar. The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has allotted Aarvee-GSL Associates as the surveying company to prepare the final alignment design including an aerial LiDAR survey for the DPR project in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
In a communique to Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, AVM Secretary Yogesh Kamra, thanked the government of India for proposing fastest rail and road network connecting Amritsar city with Delhi.
He said that after the decision of NHAI to connect SGRDJI Airport Amritsar with the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway, if this technological marvel High Speed “Bullet Train” is terminated at SGDRJI Airport Amritsar, it will become an Intermodal point where Air-Road-Train transfer all can happen seamlessly.
It is to be noted that more than 120 airports in the world already have rail connectivity and further 300 airports are building the same for future, said Kamra who is also a member of the Airport Advisory Committee (AAC).The letter listed many quantifiable benefits of the project that includes:
Ease of travel, savings in time & reduction in pollution
This will provide integrated intermodal transportation Air-Expressway-High Speed Rail / Bullet Train connecting major cities of Punjab (Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar), Chandigarh via a safe, fast all weather integrated transportation infrastructure. It will also bring respite to the traffic as the connectivity will provide easy access to all parts of the city though proposed outer ring roads. With city-based check-in, the airlines can also facilitate passenger check-in, baggage transfer etc. for passenger arriving / departing from major cities of Punjab in the form of rail-air code share fares benefiting passengers as well as other participating stakeholders. The decrease in vehicular traffic will help in reduction in pollution
Cargo Potential with Air & High-Speed Rail connectivity
Amritsar airport has closest air-links with central Asian & Gulf countries with less than 3 hours direct passenger flights including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Dubai, Sharjah & Abu Dhabi in UAE, Qatar and cargo flights to Afghanistan. This geographical advantage of airport to high-speed rail connectivity can also facilitate fast transportation of perishable cargo/export goods/vaccinations/human transplantation organs and much more.
Tourism & enhance air passenger traffic
Amritsar has great tourism potential being a religious, historical, cultural and commercial city with a population of nearly 1.5 million. Due to the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Jallianawala Bagh, Durgiana Mandir, Retreat Ceremony at Wagah border, it attracts nearly one lakh tourists daily from India and abroad. Amritsar Airport is the second biggest airport in Northern India after Delhi having direct or one-stop air connectivity with many international and domestic destinations including London, Birmingham, Doha, Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. With the completion of both expressway and rail corridor, Amritsar airport will come close to the major cities of Punjab, Jammu and other neighbouring States, which will enhance traffic volume of the Airport.
Kamra said that copies of the letter have also been sent to other leaders from Punjab including Sh. Som Parkash, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister Punjab and Member Parliament Shwait Malik, Gurjeet Singh Aujla from Amritsar. He requested the leaders to write or take up the matter direct with the Ministry and NHSRCL for including Amritsar Airport in the proposed project.