Bhagalpur awaits Railway Division status gift from PM

bhagalpur rsBhagalpur (BGP): For the common people, PM Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Bhagalpur to address a ‘Parivartan Rally’ on September 1 is yet another chance for the Union government to rectify the injustice done to the city long ago.

The injustice, according to people, was done in 1984 when the Union government created Malda railway division in West Bengal for political considerations and denied the rightful claim of Bhagalpur.

Since then, people of not only Bhagalpur but adjoining districts too have been demanding a railway division at Bhagalpur and now pin their hopes on PM Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Bhagalpur. The people’s representatives, cutting across party lines, expect that Modi would rectify the injustice done to the region 31 years ago at the public meeting to be held at Airport ground.

If people’s mood is taken into consideration, the upgrading of Bhagalpur railway station to a division is likely to bring accolades for BJP and NDA before the state assembly polls.

The demand for divisional status to Bhagalpur railway station can be traced back to the establishment of Eastern Railways in 1952. It may be mentioned here that the Bhagalpur railway station is the highest revenue earner under Malda railway division. In 2009, the then railway minister, Lalu Prasad (in UPA-I government), had laid the foundation of railway division at Bhagalpur on March 1. An officer-on-special duty (OSD) was also posted thereafter to look after developmental works related to the proposed railway division.

But, after the change of guard in the ministry of railways (that went to Trinamool Congress between May 2009 and September 2012 in UPA-II government), the work related to the proposed railway division at Bhagalpur came to a standstill. Hopes of the people of the region were rekindled when the minister of state for railways, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, visited Bhagalpur in December 2012 and categorically announced that the division would become a reality.

“PM Narendra Modi should immediately take steps to rectify the injustice done to Bhagalpur and announce a railway division status for the city that fulfills the major criterion,” said social activist Zeejah Hussain.