Oct 8, 2016

Over 200 railway quarters illegally occupied in Gaya

Gaya: Even as the railways struggle to pool resources to improve quality of service and passenger safety, over 200 railway quarters in Gaya continue to be under illegal possession for years. If that was not enough, about 50 ‘khatals‘ have come up on railway land in different localities and officials are in a fix as how to remove these illegal encroachments.

Even concrete structures have come up at several places on land belonging to the railways.
About two months back, the Mughalsarai divisional railway manager (DRM) ordered an inquiry into the grabbing of railway quarters and land in several areas including Marshalling Yard, Loco Colony, Khrakhura, Inspector Colony, Mal Godam Colony and Station Colony.

Asked about the progress made in identifying railway property grabbers and action being taken to evict them, area officer Sandip Kumar said an assistant engineer Vikram Seth is the nodal officer of the anti-encroachment drive, and as such, he was not in a position to give the actual status in the matter.

Vikram Seth said inquiry of the railway quarters and open land is over and the grabbers have been identified. Asked about the number of illegal occupants of railway quarters and land, the official said the inquiry report was confidential and it was for the Mughalsarai- based senior officials to take a final call in the matter.

As per sources, even officially abandoned quarters have not been spared by the grabbers. Most of the quarters are said to be about 100 years old. Such quarters were built during the laying of the Grand Chord section between Dhanbad and Mughalsarai. The more dilapidated ones were notified as non-liveable and declared abandoned. But no step was taken by the railway administration to demolish the abandoned quarters.

The grabbed railway quarters fall in different categories. Besides forcible occupation of abandoned quarters, there are quarters that were allotted to railway employees, who, in turn rented out these accommodations either in full or in part.

In some cases, at the time of retirement, employees handed over possession to unauthorised persons for monetary considerations and once inside occupied, the occupants enjoy accommodation and grow vegetables on the open land.

Congress leader Md Moosa said the officials lacked will to reclaim the railway property. “Some officials entrusted with the maintenance and upkeep of railway property have developed vested interests and they will thwart all attempts aimed at encroachment removal. Lack of transparency tells it all,” said the Congress leader.
Source - Times Of India