Work on new Jammu Rly Div launched, Rana placed ADRM

The Union Railway Ministry has launched the work on war-footing to create separate Railway Division in Jammu and has posted new Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM)  to expedite the work of bifurcation of existing Firozpur Division in Punjab and supervise the entire process including raising much needed infrastructure for it.
Highly placed sources in the Northern Railways at Firozpur and Delhi that with the placing of  D C Sharma as OSD (Officer on Special Duty) for the creation of new full fledged Jammu Railway Division, the process has already been set in motion by the Railways authorities but with the posting of AK Rana as ADRM  for Jammu  two days back, the work is being expedited on the project. A dedicated team of Northern Railways officials has already been constituted involving Divisional Railway Manager Firozpur, Anuj Parkash.
While the paper work with regard to the roadmap for this prestigious project has already been almost completed, the process of bifurcation including shifting of some staff from Firozpur Division to Jammu Railway Division is being commenced within couple of days. The Firozpur Divisional head has also sought the written consent from the J&K Railway employees working in Punjab, Himachal and other areas falling under him, for their placement in Jammu and Kashmir. About 3000 to 3500 employees are being shifted to this new Railway Division at the initial stage, the sources added.
A new large building with the estimated cost of Rs 125 crore is being constructed to house the Divisional Headquarters just closer to Jammu Railway Station. The site for the purpose has already been identified by the authorities. The Union Railway Ministry has already indicated to keep separate budgetary provisions for the creation of  this new Railway Division at Jammu in the coming Rail Budget.
Sources further said that new ADRM, Rana is likely to assume the charge at Jammu within couple of days after formally joining at Firozpur on Monday or Tuesday. He will operate from Jammu headquarters only and also coordinate with the Firozpur Division officials till Jammu Railway Division is made fully functional with the appointment of DRM here. From April 2016, the new Jammu Railway Division is likely to made fully operational.
A senior Railway official at Firozpur disclosed that Rana has been placed at Jammu and he is arriving at Firozpur on Monday or Tuesday. Thereafter, he would join his place of posting at Jammu. He said Firozpur Railway Division having nearly 1550 kms operational area is largest and oldest Division of the Indian Railways in the northern region. It has area of  operation in Punjab, J&K and Himachal Pradesh and controls 235 big, medium and small railway stations. Amritsar to Atari section, falling under this Division is said to be the oldest one, where first train during the British rule was made operational in 1862.
Since  partition of the country in 1947, this Railway Division was allowed to continue its operation from there despite being at the extreme corner and closer to Indo-Pak border. Operationally, now the Railways authorities were feeling difficult to monitor activities smoothly in parts of Kashmir, Udhampur-Katra and Banihal- Baramulla sections being far away from Firozpur Divisional headquarters. He said the area of operation of  Jammu Railway Division is also being defined.
It will have the jurisdiction of entire Jammu and Kashmir up to Baramulla. In Punjab it will have operational control of Pathankot up to Mukerian on Pathankot- Jallandhar section and also from Pathankot to Gurdaspur and Batala on Pathankot- Amritsar section. Parts of Himachal including Pathankot-Kangra-Joginder Nagar section will also  come under Jammu Railway Division.
Responding to a question, the senior Railway official said that Union Railway Ministry is contemplating to extend Railway lines in the most difficult and mountainous region of Ladakh including  Kargil and Leh towns besides Uri  and Kupwara near the LoC in Kashmir besides Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu sector as per Defence point of view. It will help in the free and much comfortable movement of troops up to Pakistan and China border.  It would also help  the Northern Railways to keep effective control of the activities in these far-flung areas from Jammu Railway Division.
When asked about the additional facilities at Jammu Divisional Headquarters to be raised by Railways, the Sr DM  Firozpur said that like other important Divisions, the Jammu Division would also get separate budget every year from Railway Ministry. The proposal of extending Railway platforms at Jammu is already under active consideration and with sufficient funds being provided to new Division, it would automatically happen shortly.
Besides this, Jammu Railway Station would get new facelift. The waiting halls capacity would be increased. There is great pressure of Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrims and security forces besides tourists at this station. New flats for the staff would be raised shortly besides generating sufficient parking area for visitors and staff. A new 100- room Railway Hotel with Restaurant for yatris is also coming up at Jammu Railway Station.
Former Railway Employees Union leader and State president of BSP, Tarsem Khullar said that besides full fledged Railway Division at Jammu and extension of Railway platforms, setting up of Rail Coach factory near Jammu and Railway bridge workshop at Kathua are the old demands of the people of this region and Railway Union. While two demands have been met, for the remaining two, there is need to exert pressure on the Union Government.
He said that Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from Jammu region should exert pressure on the Union Railway Ministry for these two remaining issues. Mr Khullar disclosed that first train arrived Jammu in October 1972 and now after the long wait of over 43 years, the Jammu is getting Railway Division status. There were three platforms and just three passenger trains operating at that time and even today their number remains the same despite the fact that at least 35 trains are operating daily from this station.

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