Railway balm for Ranchi – 5 overbridges planned

Ranchi: Commuters will no longer have to wait at the railway crossings at Ara Gate and Tatisilwai when trains pass by. Railway overbridges will soon come to their rescue.

These two railway overbridges are among five that have been proposed in Ranchi division. Three others will be built near Silli, Muri and Kotsila. This apart, seven subways will come up on the Muri-Barkakana section.

Construction work on all are expected to begin in the current financial year.

“We have 220 railway crossings of which 72 are manned and the rest unmanned. We have to close all the unmanned level crossings by 2017. In places where railway overbridges or subways are required, we are setting them up,” Gajanan Mallya, divisional railway manager, Ranchi, told mediapersons in the state capital on Tuesday.

This apart, Chandil-Muri and Hatia-Barkakana — two important railway sections where train traffic has increased in the past decade —— will be upgraded to double lanes for which Ranchi railway division is now preparing a proposal that will be sent to the Railway Board. At present, these two sections have single tracks.

Within the railways, Ranchi division has won five medals for excelling in various operational areas in the just-concluded financial year. And Mallya, who had gone to Calcutta on April 12 to receive these awards, explained their significance.

“Ranchi railway station has been adjudged the best maintained station under South Eastern Railway. In terms of passenger amenities, cleanliness and upkeep, it was hailed better than all other stations across the zone,” he announced.

The other four areas in which the division earned laurels were terminal management, scrap management, maintenance of coaches and trains and safety.

Also, in the last financial year, the railway division managed to augment income by a huge 26 per cent. While in 2011-12, the total profit earned by the railway division stood at Rs 291 crore, it went up to Rs 367 crore in 2012-13.

Of the total profit recorded in the last fiscal, Rs 166 crore was earned from passenger trains, marginally higher than last fiscal’s Rs 153 crore. From freight trains, earnings were Rs 183 crore in 2012-13 against Rs 117 crore in 2011-12.

“The total number of passengers who travelled in trains plying under the railway division in 2012-13 was 4 per cent more as compared to 2011-12. The passenger count in 2011-12 was 1.44 crore, which went up to 1.50 crore in 2012-13,” Mallya said.