Silchar, May 5: Rajdeep Roy, spokesperson, BJP Assam Pradesh and former member of Passenger Amenities Committee (PAC), has cleared the air regarding the chances of shifting or changing of starting point of long or short distance trains which is presently at Silchar to Lumding. Addressing media-persons at a press-meet held in his office on Friday evening, he said, "No such thing is going to happen. BJP will never agree to it. The starting point for long or short distance trains will always be in Silchar. It will never be shifted to Lumding. I have discussed the matter with Rajen Gohain, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Railways and Ranjit Das, BJP president."
Rajdeep Roy said that both of them assured that starting point would be Silchar Railway Station and there could not be any second thoughts about it. "The long cherished dream of around 40 lakh people of Barak Valley came true when trains started to take them to far off places from here. It took almost 20 years and cost around 600 crore for making this dream come true. How can we part with our dream? Infrastructure facelift, development and modernization of Lumding Railway Station have become essential. But it does not mean that the importance of Silchar Railway Station has or will lessen," he added to say.
The former PAC member further said that though Rajen Gohain had said that introduction of a number of trains in Barak Valley is not commercially viable, it does not mean that trains will be cancelled. "Lumding Railway Station is in urgent need of space or yard. Lumding station is going for a facelift infrastructure. Many more trains are in the pipeline. Badarpur, Agartala, Imphal and Mizoram are now the focal point of development and railway connectivity. Indian Railways will never agree to such a flimsy proposal, Roy added to say.
Roy also gave a brief account and an entire overview of the commercial bearings of Lumding divisions. Under NF Railways, there are 10 districts of Assam connected with train lines. "5 main or independent passenger trains run from Silchar to Agartala. This division covers a total length of 1100.117 km. Out of this; 814 km is in Assam, 151 in Tripura, 7.63 in Nagaland, 1.35 in Manipur and construction going on for building 1.50 km in Mizoram. Broad gauge conversion is on full swing in Assam and Mizoram. 123 km in Assam and 1.50 km in Mizoram is being converted. Freight terminals are also being built in Salchappra. A freight terminal is already there in Bihara," said Rajdeep Roy.
Under Lumding division, Guwahati Railway Station is the biggest and largest one. It falls under ‘A1’ category. It is followed by Kamakhya, Lumding, Dimapur and Silchar Railway Stations. These stations fall under ‘A’ category. There are 144 railway stations under this division which comprise 1 ‘A1’, 4 ‘A’ and ‘B’, 14 ‘D’, 100 ‘E’ and 21 ‘F’ categories. "According to 2015-16 report, the average number of passengers per day in Guwahati Railway Station is 33745 and 3935 in Silchar. Now the footfall in Silchar Railway Station has increased manifold. It easily crosses 6000. Since then, there has been an increase in the number of trains. Till August 2016, the total income from the passengers of Silchar Railway Station stood at 7.06 crore," said Rajdeep Roy.