Silchar: If the words of Dr Rajdeep Roy, member of Passenger Amenities Committee (PAC) of the Indian Railways are to be believed, the Silchar Railway Station will soon be upgraded into a full-fledged Railway Division.
“In a recent development, the Indian Railways has decided to upgrade three railway stations into railway divisions and the Silchar Railway Station features in the list. The work to upgrade the station will soon commence,” Roy said.
He was quick to add that as a member to the PAC, he has also urged the general manager of NF Railways to start intercity express trains between Silchar to Agartala and Guwahati.
“We have received a positive nod from Chahatey Ram, General Manager of NF Railways towards introducing the two intercity express trains,” Roy informed.
Further, the Silchar Railway Station which is an ‘A’ category station, will have a host of new amenities soon. In the words of Roy, the station will have a Coach Indication Board (CIB) and Train Indication Board (TIB), which has already been sanctioned.
Moreover, besides installation of four water-vending machines, expansion of PP shed and a well-managed parking facility, there will also be a food plaza at the Silchar Railway Station, he said. It may be mentioned that around 3,935 passengers travel from Silchar every day.
On the other hand, Roy said that NF Railway has approved Hailakandi Railway Station to be a three-line crossing ‘B’ grade station. “This decision was taken on August 26 and the station is being maintained in its original position,” he informed.
The PAC member also informed that they had visited several railway stations, including Guwahati and Kamakhya and offered suggestions for improvement of passenger amenities.
Also, he said that both the Indian Railways and the Department of Tourism are focusing on development of tourism facilities at the Guwahati, Kamakhya and New Jalpaiguri railway stations within the next two years.
People from Badarpur shows resentment on the announcement of PAC
The reported decision of the Railway Ministry to set up the rail division at Silchar instead of Badarpur has evoked strong reactions in this railway town.
Last year also Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had said that the new Railway Division will be set up at Silchar, and not Badarpur. His announcement then also was strongly condemned by all sections of people of Badarpur, various political parties like the Congress, BJP, Socialist Party, SUCI, CPM, CPI (M), AIUDF as also the Railway Unions, Railway employees and the members of the Badarpur Rail Division Implementation Demand Committee unanimously.
In a strongly-worded statement, the general secretary of the Badarpur Rail Division Implementation Demand Committee (BRDIDC), Sukumar Ghosh told this mediaperson that the people of Badarpur will not tolerate the indiscreet decision of the Ministry of Railways as also the recent comments on the subject, as the demand for Badarpur Rail Division has matured into a ‘mass demand’, having been first voiced way back in 1988, from when the movement also began. Sukumar Ghosh very clearly narrated the entire picture of the importance, necessity, reasonableness as well as the logic of the Badarpur Rail Division. He warned that in support of the setting up of a full-fledged Railway Division at Badarpur, the movement will not only continue but will now be more vigorous than earlier.
Ghosh said, “since 1988, our rail division movement has been non-violent. But now, it may change, if the Railways and the Central Government deprive Badarpur of its logical as well as reasonable claim.” Ghosh said that Badarpur is the appropriate, proper and the most suitable place for setting up a full-fledged railway division and there are many reasons for the claim, which are already in the public domain. He also said that Silchar is not at all a suitable place for a rail division. The essential requirements for the rail division are not present at Silchar and it will not be profitable for the Ministry of Railways to purchase vast lands for the purpose.
Ghosh alleged that a group of people along with some politicians of Barak Valley, who don’t want a rail division be set up at Badarpur, are misguiding and misleading the Railway officials and Union Ministers by giving wrong information, regarding Badarpur Rail Division.
Meanwhile, an urgent meeting was also held at Badarpur, under the presidentship of the BRDIDC president, Chandan Sen recently, where all the representatives of the various political parties were present. All the speakers vehemently criticised the decision of the Ministry of Railways, which has not yet been withdrawn. The meeting also sent a memorandum to the Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain, mentioning the reasons in support of a full-fledged railway division at Badarpur.