Rails of development

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/23/2020 11:12:50 AM IST

 Development of Dimapur railway station, has become a very pressing need in view of the increasing growth in volume of passengers travelling to and from Dimapur. Nagaland’s only railhead- Dimapur railway station- nets the second highest revenue for the North Frontier Railways after Guwahati but there has been slow progress in development. Passenger amenities in the railway station fall far below what is expected of a station that adds to high revenue income. One of the biggest hurdle to development of connectivity has been and continues to be encroachment on railway lands over several decades. There are some obstacles that come in the way of developing modern facilities and amenities in the Dimapur railway station. The first and foremost is for the NFR to reclaim all its lands so that it can prepare a blueprint for development of Dimapur railway station. The railway station is managed by the railways and so there can be no parallel authorities within its territorial and legal jurisdiction. Any other body or organisation has to obtain prior and written sanction from the railway authorities before setting up any business or other activities within its premises. This point needs to be understood particularly in the context of how some so-called religious structures have come up within the premises of Dimapur railway station. GM of NFR Sanjiv Roy who was on an inspection tour of Dimapur Railway Station on Tuesday, had echoed the same concern about encroachment as the biggest hurdle to development. To state a case in point, platform No.2 has no canopy till today, because there is no space for shifting the railway tracks so as to construct the shed. According to an earlier report carried in this newspaper, the present width of platform No.2 is hardly six meters and insufficient to construct a canopy over it. The required space is nine meters but there is no scope for expansion. In an earlier interview to this newspaper, the Divisional Railway Manager (Lumding) maintained that unless the local administration acts urgently, development of Dimapur railway station would remain stunted. This throws the ball at the court of the local administration who have to play the role as custodian of the law instead of dragging their feet in conducting a joint eviction drive. The railway authorities have alleged that a long drawn court battle pertaining to land encroachment has turned out to be a major bottleneck and halted railway authorities from widening platform number 2 at Dimapur. It is time that the state government seriously consider the problems of encroachment in railway as well as airport lands in Dimapur. On the issue of improvement of Dimapur railway station, it must also be mentioned that there are too many passengers fighting for too few tickets. The GM (NFR) should also take note of this fact and ask what the NFR is doing to mitigate the perennial suffering of train passengers of Dimapur. What passengers of Dimapur urgently need are few- increased quotas of seats to and from Nagaland’s only railway station that also caters to the need of passengers from nearby Karbi Anglong and Manipur; introduction of at least 15 trains at Dimapur out of 40 trains emanating from Tinisukia to meet the needs of a growing number of passengers. Responsible leaders of society and NGOs must realise that they have to play a positive role towards development by creating awareness and acting as pressure lobby on their government to deliver.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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