Rajasthan village builds its own railway station

Unfazed by the Indian Railways’ refusal to build them a station due to a lack of funds, the residents of four villages in Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan, decided to take things in their own hands. Built brick by brick with every painstakingly collected rupee, the Balwantpura Chelasi railway station in Shekhawati village stands as testament to their hard work and unflagging determination.

Located 160 km from Jaipur, the station was built at a cost of Rs8 lakh with donations from the villagers themselves. It has a pucca platform, four benches, drinking water, and a ticket counter.

It has changed the lives of the 20,000 people living in the surrounding villages. Where earlier a bus ride to Loharu, the nearest station, cost Rs40 from here, the train fare now costs Rs 15-20.
The village panchayats decided to build the station in 2003, after the railways turned down their 10-year-old request.

Once it was built, the railways agreed to make four trains under the North-Western line which travel to places like Sikar, Rewari and Jaipur, halt here. Since January 3, 2005, when the first train halted here, over 13,000 passengers have travelled on this route, contributing more than Rs 1.5 lakh to the railways’ kitty.

Courtesy: DNAIndia.com

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