Villages grow a railway station

The new station inaugurated on Thursday by Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda is reportedly the brainchild of Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda, and the means and material to build it came from local panchayats.

NEW DELHI: Their homes lie within earshot of the Delhi-Bathinda railway line, but for years a journey to the capital meant travelling 14km on bad roads to board a train at Karaichi station near Jind. Time and again, the nearly 1 lakh residents of these nine Haryana villages, 90km from Delhi, lobbied for a station of their own but the assurances did not materialize. Until one April day, when they came together with bricks and mortar, hoes and spades, to gift themselves the Lakhan Majra railway station.

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A railway station, financed and built by villagers near the Indian capital, Delhi, has opened for service

“We have been raising the demand [for a station] since 1982, but the railways told us they did not have funds. So, finally we decided to craft our own destiny,” he said.

Residents of Tajnagar and nearby villages in the Delhi suburb Gurgaon pooled 2,080,786 rupees ($45,000) to build the two platforms.

The construction work took seven months and was done under the supervision of railway authorities.

The area is badly connected by roads and officials say the new station is likely to benefit about 25,000 people.

The state-owned Indian railways network is huge, connecting every corner of the vast country.

It operates 9,000 passenger trains and carries 18 million passengers every day.

There are nearly 7,000 stations across India.

Almost all of them were built by the railways, but officials said a handful of small stations between Delhi and Ambala (in Haryana) were funded and built by local people.

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