Agra, March 28 (IANS) With Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav suggesting a metro or mono rail in some cities, residents say the Taj city should be the first beneficiary.
Long before the metro rail system was introduced in India, Agra already had a metro type network, according to old-timers in Agra.
Senior hotelier Surendra Sharma says that from the Yamuna Bridge railway station as old as 1864 to Agra City station opened in 1904, "you have a metro line running through the city, on raised arches and small bridges, over the old markets of Belanganj and Pathwari".
Akhilesh Yadav's move to introduce a metro or mono rail in Uttar Pradesh, including in Agra, has been widely welcomed.
But some people have suggested that the more than a century old rail network with eight railway stations in Agra could be used to start a local service without any major investment.
Social activist Sudheir Gupta says: "The rail network is already there from Belanganj Malgodam, Yamuna Bridge, Agra Fort, Agra City, Agra Cantt, Idgah, Billochpura and Raja ki Mandi. All they need to do is to start a circular train on this largely unused track."
S. Vardarajan, the scientist who headed a high-powered panel appointed by the Supreme Court in 1993, visited Agra and suggested that this network should be used to start a local train. But no one followed it up, recalls industrialist Mathuresh of Foundry Nagar.
"Half the city is under occupation of the railways but it appears the divisional railway office in Agra has no idea about its assets and land," said senior citizen Shravan Kumar.
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