Silchar, July 8: With the introduction of BG trains replacing more than century old MG track in Barak Valley, new hopes among the passengers have been generating for better services.
Problems are no doubt many, yet citizens are confident the much expected improved railway services are possible with the cooperation of all.
From time to time various organizations and citizens bodies have been voicing their demands for improvement where exists certain drawbacks. Quite recently, Silchar-Lumding BG Rupayan Sangram Committee members and senior citizens of Hailakandi met the Deputy Commissioner, Krish Gobinda Bhuiya, and took up a number of problems for his intervention.
According to them, Hailakandi railway station is one of the oldest ones under NF Railway zone, but it is plagued by a number of problems. After a long and sustained struggle, the railway station has been declared as ‘B Grade’ by the NF Railway. But, the indifferent attitude of the higher authorities has left the railway station in a quagmire. Much has to be said about the mismagement prevailing around. Bofide passengers have to suffer without any remedial action in sight. Strangely enough, the passenger trains are made to skip platform no.1 and stand at platform no. 2.
Quite turally, passengers have to cross over to platform no.2 from platform no.1. There is no over-bridge. In the process, elderly passengers and children get injured and such incidents have become common. Women in particular face immense difficulty in traversing through the track and mount the platform. Apart from that, Hailakandi railway station does not have proper drinking water facility. There is no sufficient light to keep the railway station and its surrounding illumited. Cleanliness is a forlorn word.
Still strange, as the citizens pointed out there exists no passenger reservation system (PRS) which cannot but encourage ticketless travelling even for those who want to travel with ticket. The problem is further compounded by the fact that there is only one staff to look after the ticket counter which can hardly cope with the rush of passengers. The Deputy Commissioner was impressed with the demand for upgradation and modernization of services at this important railway station located in the southern most part of Barak Valley.
The Deputy Commissioner was also posted with the serious problem of erosion to the railway track at the area of Bakrihaor, a long and sprawling water body. Many fissures have occurred in the track which if not contained immediately might lead to accident. The importance of this railway station can well be gauged from the fact that being on Katakhal-Bhairabi route and the future vision of connecting it with the ambitious Asian railway network, it is going to be a hub of railway movement. The Deputy Commissioner assured that he would take up the matter with the higher authorities of NF Railway for redressal.
The demand for introduction of a south bound train from Silchar by travelling public has been a long one. According to information from the railway source here, the Railway Ministry is giving a serious thought to it. Though no fil decision is yet in sight, the source adds to say that it is on the anvil and the train to south bound for Trivandrum will run once a week. It is expected that by the end of this year, the train will become a gift for Barak Valley people.
Significantly, in order to discuss various issues related to passenger amenities and train services, a delegation of MLAs from Barak Valley comprising Kishor th, Amar Chand Jain, Mihir Kanti Shome, and Aminul Haque Laskar accompanied by Dr. Rajdeep Roy, state spokesperson of BJP and member of Passenger Amenities Committee, Indian Railways, held discussion with Chahatey Ram, General Mager, N F Railway at Maligaon on Friday. Various issues like introduction of more trains from Barak Valley, improvement of passenger amenities and other matters of mutual interest were discussed.