From our Correspondent
TINSUKIA, Feb 18: At a time when almost all divisions of NFR, including Alipurduar and Katihar, have been implementing various developmental works including double tracking, Tinsukia Railway Division on the other hand has even failed to provide basic passenger amenities, let alone ensure any development, observed Dipak Bhowmik, former member for several consecutive terms of Divisiol Railway Users Consultative Committee(DRUCC) who was instrumental in introducing Kolkata Express in the division.
With so many deficiencies in the division it is a matter of surprise how Tinsukia division could achieve to secure best prizes in certain categories despite poor passenger services in the train, uuthorized entry in reserved compartments including Rajdhani Express, poor passenger safety, regular burglary, uncontrolled catering services, un-elevated station platforms, withdrawal of train services and encroachment, maintained a railway insider.
Time and again several issues were raised before present DRM Prasant Mishra by different organizations but they fell into deaf ears. Tinsukia division is riddled with problems while several lakhs are allegedly being spent on ritual inspections of Railway high officials. The GM Chahatey Ram during his last visit to the Division categorically instructed the DRM to clear all encroachment from railway land, including railway stations, which have turned out to become dens of anti-social elements, but nothing progressed.
Despite public demand and inconvenience, foot over-bridges have not been constructed in Bhojo, Safrai and Lakowa stations. Passengers have to cross tracks in contravention to railway safety guidelines, while many platforms are not elevated to BG standard creating extreme problems for aged and elderly passengers. Some stations are poorly lit, thus becoming vulnerable for night passengers, more so for women. Makum Jn being the third oldest railway station in India, the station is yet to have a road. Passengers have to cross railway tracks to get into the platform. Public have been demanding an over-bridge for long to tide over traffic congestion in the area as Makum Jn connects NH 37 and NH 38 to Doomdooma and Digboi.
Large-scale corruption in construction and maintence has been alleged. On November 16, 2016, the newly-constructed washing pit in Banipur Station (Dibrugarh) caved in incurring loss of several crores of rupees, but no inquiry was allegedly conducted by the railway authorities, according to a source.
Tinsukia being in close proximity to Chi border, the Railway Ministry ought to have prioritized extension of the historical Makum-Dangori section to Dholla. Even though DEMU services were appreciated by the local populace and college goers, they were withdrawn systematically without any public notice.