Giridih, July 4: Mamata Banerjee’s budget proposals have brought the smiles back on the people of this district lacking a proper railway network despite being a hub of mineral wealth, industries and tourism.
Mamata’s proposal to ensure “railway connectivity” between Giridih and Madhuban, near Parasnath, has become the talking point of the town.
“In fact, Lalu Prasad had announced the new link in his interim budget. But Mamata, including it in the final budget, has made us happy,” said Swetamber Society president Kamal Singh Rampuriyar.
Along with the new link — which is expected to be completed soon — the railway minister included Parasnath in her plan to develop multi-functional complexes in 50 stations nationally. Parasnath would also be developed as an “adarsh” (ideal) station with “basic facilities such as drinking water, adequate toilets, catering services, waiting rooms and dormitories especially for lady passengers and better signage.”
Giridih, with a population of 20 lakh spread across 13 blocks, has major tourist hotspots, religious centres, mica, iron and steel industries, coal and iron ore deposits but lags behind in development because of poor railway connectivity in spite of having two railway stations — Giridih and Parasnath.
However, while only a passenger train — Giridh-Madhupur — touches the district headquarters daily, Parasnath, with a Grand Chord section and scheduled stops for several trains, cannot fulfil the travel requirements of the people here.
The Giridih-Madhuban link would be beneficial for thousands of passengers even those who want to take a train from Parasnath, about 40km from here. Madhuban, a religious centre for Jains, may see a boost pilgrim and tourist traffic after the link is made operational.
“Seeing the importance of Madhuban, it was a much-needed step. It will not only help pilgrims, tourist too will find it easier to reach the beautiful site from across the country,” he added.
“We also thank Mamata for selecting Parasnath to be among 50 stations to be developed as a multi-functional complex with facilities of a shopping mall and other amenities,” said Ashok Jain of the Digamber Jain Society.
Rajdeep Gupta of Citizen Council echoed the voice of common people, saying: “Giridih has always been neglected as far as the railway is concerned. Despite having huge advantages in various areas, the absence of proper railway connectivity hindered Giridih’s growth.”