Nagpur: Come February 25, the next Railway Budget will be presented, the third one by majority NDA Government. With the coming of the Railway Budget comes the hopes and expectations from different regions across the country. Vidarbha is no exception. In view of the rapidly growing MIHAN Project and Cargo Hub Project, setting up of an Independent Railway Zone in Nagpur is an old demand. Now, hopes are pinned on the formal announcement as the City of Nagpur is home of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and expectations millions of Vidarbhaites. There are a slew of demands that were and are raised time and again whenever the Railway Budget is presented irrespective of governments at the Centre. A prominent citizen of the city who is a doctor by profession, a freelance journalist, a former member of ZRUCC (SECR) and also former editor of a Hindi daily, has put forward many a demand and expects to get fulfilled in the coming Railway Budget. The demands are:
• Senior citizens should get concession on Tatkal Tickets as well.
• Running of Fast Passenger Train between Kanhan-Butibori on the lines of Metro Rail.
• Direct Trains from Nagpur to Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata etc and to pilgrimage centres.
• Setting up of Independent Railway Zone in Nagpur by merging different Divisions of SECR, Central Railway functioning from the city.
• Removal of side middle berths from Garib Rath Train.
• Difference of fares demanded for lower, middle and upper berths.
• Setting up of Coach Terminal or Coach Complex at Motibagh.
• Development of Itwari, Ajni, Godhni stations as Terminal Stations.
• Motibagh Workshop needs to be developed with state-of-the art facilities.
• Construction of air-conditioned ware house near Kalamna Station having biggest market in Asia.
• Special reservation arrangements for mentally ailing and blind passengers.
• Running of Itwari-Katangi Fast Passenger Train.
• Starting of Railway’s own medical college and hospital for thousands of employees and setting up of Neer Plant in Nagpur.
• Running of Nagpur-Bilaspur Inter-City Train via Itwari.
A number of such demands are pending with the Railway Ministry including the proposals announced in Railway Budgets by respective ministers.
– RAJEEV RANJAN KUSHWAHA( firstname.lastname@example.org )