No more space for expansion of Dimapur railway station
DIMAPUR, AUGUST 21
NOT many of us will be aware that the Dimapur Railway Station is only next to Guwahati Railway Station in northeast region when it comes to dealing with a maximum number of passengers and also in terms of revenue generation. Dimapur railway station comes second in the list as it caters to passengers from entire Nagaland and Manipur state and parts of Assam adjacent to Nagaland.
With the ever growing population and increasing human activity, it is clearly evident that this mini station will only attract more and more passengers in the coming years.
But even as this station continues to lift itself up to become an important connectivity centre for Nagaland and the neighboring states, the reason that there is “limited” or “no more” space for further expansion is a matter of concern.
There are already 17 pairs of trains traversing the Dimapur station connecting different destinations across the country. And when it is expected that more trains would (have to) be introduced to run the Dimapur rail tracks, the existing three platforms and five tracks will not be enough to accommodate the entry of newer trains if at all connectivity has to be expanded in this remote part of the country.
Going by the number of passengers and the revenue it generates, even Railway officials admitted that Dimapur station should have been expanded to be more accommodative.
“Dimapur is a busy station and it qualifies to be an important centre in the northeast. Though there are some other bigger stations in the region, yet they don’t attract passengers as we do,” said RK Dev Das, Station Manager (SM) of Dimapur.
He recalled that the then Union Railway Minister, Dinesh Trivedi, during his visit to Dimapur station in September 11, 2011 had directed the department officials to construct ‘platform shed’ in the remaining two platforms. But he said this couldn’t be materialized as both the platforms were too narrow to accommodate the sheds.
“If the platform sheds were to be raised, then one track has to be removed,” Das said adding that the removal of another track will only lead to more congestion.
Now that the feasibility of expansion is narrow, the Railway officer feels that the beautification of the station to some extent would also be hindered.
Another official disclosed that some of the lands procured by Railway department have been occupied by encroachers on both sides of the station, including some hotels. The construction of the much needed ‘Fly Over’ proved ‘its worth’ by easing vehicular movement in Dimapur but not for Railway department which is now struggling to avail space.
The station is now located at a juncture where expansion of rail tracks and major beautification will happen only if it gets back the ‘once’ procured lands. But it is very unlikely that the plan to seize back the procured land will succeed. The ball is clearly in the courts of the policy makers who must decide the best for the future.
Next to Assam, Nagaland is the only other State in the region with rail connectivity and the Dimapur railway station is the only rail connection with mainland India. Now that there are already 17 pairs of trains traversing this route, we only wish that newer trains are introduced to run the Dimapur rail tracks.
But the question here is – how many new trains can the Dimapur station accommodate if there are only five tracks and three platforms which have no more space for further expansion.
Introducing a new station with sufficient space is one option left with us still.
But where is the land?