The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 26 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Coal belt gets rail wish list ready

Promises made during the last Railway Budget for Dhanbad division of East Central Railway yet to be fulfilled, coal belt residents are nevertheless ready with a new set of demands for this year’s budget.

The wish list includes a direct train from Dhanbad to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Surat etc. The other demands raised during the divisional railway users’ consultative committee meetings as well the zonal railway users’ consultative committee meetings include providing a full rake of Allepey Express from Dhanbad. Increasing the frequency of the Dhanbad-Sindri passenger train and extension of Dhanbad Gaya Intercity Express up to Patna and Mughalsarai are some of the other demands.

Speaking to The Telegraph, president of Federation of Dhanbad Zilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FDZCCI) Rajiv Sharma, who is also member of the zonal railway users’ consultative committee, said, “We have been demanding direct trains from Dhanbad to important cities for long.” He added that majority of Delhi-bound trains originating from Howrah offers a limited quota for Dhanbad passengers.

Students pursuing courses in different engineering and medical colleges of Bengaluru also face a problem as due to lack of direct connectivity, they have to travel via Calcutta each way.

“We have time and again sought an increase in the height of the platforms in important urban railway stations of the district like Bhuli and Tetulmari to prevent accidents,” said Sharma, adding that they expect the railway ministry to undertake the elevation work in the coming fiscal.

“We want the divisional railway authorities to complete the pending work of developing the southern end of Dhanbad station, which is being developed to be on the par with the main station complex,” said general secretary of FDZCCI Rajesh Gupta.

Gupta had earlier raised the issue of early completion of the southern end of the station as well as construction of an approach road to the new station complex from Joraphatak during a meeting with railway authorities on January 15. The issue of repair of a railway footbridge at the station was also discussed.