Dec 8, 2016

A new journey for Hazaribagh - Rail minister, CM to inaugurate link online

The railway building on platform one of Hazaribagh station being spruced up on Tuesday on the eve of launch. Picture by Vishvendu Jaipuriar

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu and chief minister Raghubar Das will together inaugurate the 57.14km tracks between Barkakana and Hazaribagh under East Central Railway and flag off the first train on the stretch on Wednesday, but from Delhi via videoconferencing. Vishvendu Jaipuriar has a dekko at the new rail route and the programme lined up
The big picture

The rail link between Hazaribagh and Barkakana costing Rs 950 crore is part of the long-delayed 200km Ranchi-Hazaribagh-Koderma rail project. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 79km long Hazaribagh-Koderma stretch as well as the new Hazaribagh station. The entire 200km line is likely to be thrown open next year

The event

At 12.30pm on Wednesday, Prabhu will inaugurate the Hazaribagh-Barkakana rail link from Rail Bhavan in Delhi. Das, who will be with the railway minister, will flag off a five-bogey passenger train, which will chug out from Hazaribagh station.

On Tuesday, around 250 labourers were busy giving a fresh coat of paint to the station, took up repair jobs and createda a stage on platform 1 where a ceremony will be held. Screens were put up at a few points so that people could see Prabhu and Das. Deputy commissioner Ravi Shankar Shukla and superintendent of police Bhimsen Tuti were monitoring preparations

More options

With Koderma already connected with Hazaribagh station, the Koderma-Hazaribagh-Barkakana line will facilitate plying of express trains to Delhi. The other future options are operating trains from Koderma to Howrah via Madhupur and from Ranchi to Delhi via Hazaribagh. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had laid the foundation for the 111km Koderma-Giridih link. At present, trains ply on the 86km stretch between Koderma and Kawar while only 24km rail line is required to connect it with Giridih station. Giridih is already connected with Madhupur.

Express plea

A grade-I station, Koderma acts as an important junction where all major trains halt. Earning-wise, it is placed second after Dhanbad. Every day, it sells around six lakh tickets on an average, while the maximum passenger rush is from neighbouring districts like Hazaribagh and Ramgarh. Hence, the need for express trains

August gathering

Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha, state drinking water and sanitation minister Chandraprakash Choudhary, MLAs Manish Jaiswal (Hazaribagh sadar) and Jai Prakash Bhai Patel (Mandu) will be among the guests at Hazaribagh

Authority Speak

"The new line will change the fate of this area. At present, goods trains ply from Hazaribagh's Banadag, carrying coal to other parts of the country. As for starting express trains, a call has to be taken by the higher authorities," said divisional railway manager, Dhanbad, Manoj Krishna Akhouri.

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