550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak: New Sultanpur Lodhi station sees daily footfall of 1.5 lakh passengers
The new railway station of Sultanur Lodhi town, which has a population of nearly 18,000, has been handling a footfall of around 1.50 lakh pilgrims daily over the past one week amid celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
The Northern Railway, which has started 30 special trains to facilitate the large rush of the pilgrims, is going to run four more trains for Tuesday when the Parkash Utsav is being celebrated.
Officials at the railway station said that daily 70,000 to 80,000 tickets are being sold here daily for the past around 10 days.
The new railway station is based on Sikh architecture and it came up at a cost of Rs 25 crore. The project involved construction of two under-passes, raising the height of platforms and installing two foot bridges.
Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Northern Railway, Rajesh Aggarwal, informed that earlier the special trains were supposed to run between November 1 to November 15 but going by the huge footfall, these trains would continue for 15 to 20 days more even after the Parkash Utsav.
Apart from running several inter-district trains within Punjab, several trains are running between Sultanpur Lodhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra and Assam. The first Inter City — Delhi-Ludhiana-Sultanpur Lodhi — ‘Sarabt Da Bhala’ was started on October 4, which is running five days a week and started much before other special trains.
Outside the station, free e-rickshaws are available to ferry pilgrims to Gurdwara Ber Sahib.
“Our journey was very comfortable and we are thankful to the government for running special trains to facilitate the devotees to visit Guru’s place easily without any hassle as train reaches directly here,” said Jaswinder Kaur, who came from Maharashtra.
Sultanpur Lodhi Railway, Station Master, Rajbir Singh, said that it is a lifetime experience for them that they are serving lakhs of pilgrims daily in a small town. “We have made world-class waiting halls, toilets and platforms to facilitate the pilgrims’ journey.”