New Delhi: Admitting gaffe by the Railways in ignoring Bhagalpur railway station and making Malda (West Bengal) a Railway’s Division (ostensibly due to political reasons), the Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha categorically said that injustice done in the past would be rectified and that the Railways is committed to establish its new ‘division’ at Bhagalpur.
Obstacles, if any, would be removed for establishing the new railway division at Bhagalpur, said the Minister of State for Railways adding Bhagalpur railway station is the highest revenue earner for railways under Malda railway division and it undoubtedly deserves to be upgraded to a new railway division as envisaged in the past. The railways would a made a preferred public conveyance for everyone, he added.
The Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha was here on Tuesday to review the ongoing developmental projects with the senior railway officials besides to give thrust to the future plans of railways at Bhagalpur. He also attended a private function at a relative’s place in the city.
The demand for divisional status to Bhagalpur railway station can be traced back to the establishment of Eastern Railways in 1952. Widespread perception is that railway division at Malda (West Bengal), under which Bhagalpur railway station comes, was created in 1984. The open secret is that the railway division was lugged over to Malda for political reasons at that time by the Congress regime by ignoring the criterions.
It may also be worth to mention that the Bhagalpur railway station is the highest revenue earner under Malda Railway Division. Taking the facts into consideration, then railway minister Lalu Prasad (in UPA-I government) laid foundation of railway division at Bhagalpur on March 1, 2009. Prasad had announced that the railways would spend Rs 2 crore on the project. An officer-on-special duty (OSD) was also posted thereafter to look after developmental works related to the proposed railway division, but till date it remains an illusion for the denizens of the region.
In the backdrop, the Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, in an informal meeting with media person in late evening hours on Tuesday, said that his ministry is committed towards the establishment of a new railway division at Bhagalpur and deliberations are being held at the Railway Board level.
Development of railways’ infrastructures in Bihar is in the priority list of the Railways, added Sinha saying a 5-year developmental road map has been prepared. Effort is to remove the past political injustices to the state with regard to railway projects.
Referring to the inordinate delay in the completion of the doubling of the track between Kiul and Barharwa railway section, the Minister of State for Railways said that work at major parts have been under progress. Part section between Bahaglpur to Kahalgaon and from Kahalgaon to Pirpainty and Maharajganj would be completed by 2017.
Process for electrification of the railway route between Kiul and Barharwa via Bhagalpur is also underway and the plan is to complete the electrification work in this section in next three years, said the Minister of State for Railways adding the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very much keen in developing the railways infrastructures and it modernizations.
The railways will be investing rupees 1,10,000 crores for the developmental projects and upgrading infrastructures in view of sixteen (16) times increase in passenger volume and eight (08) times freight volume whereas the railways network grew between two and half (2.5) time only, said the Minister of State for Railways adding we are committed to make the railways a preferred public conveyance for everyone.