JAMMU, Feb 9: Railways Ministry has initiated a series of measures for development of infrastructure, safety of passengers and providing amenities to the travellers in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Presently we have only one entry and three platforms to cater the passenger trains so we are planning for the second entry from Narwal Mandi side and that is a very ambitious project for infrastructure development of Jammu station,” Naveen Kumar, Divisional Traffic Manager, Jammu Railway said during an exclusive interview with the Excelsior News Channel.
In response to a query on the expansion of Jammu Railway, he said the Railways Ministry was working on the project. He added that the opening of Udhampur-Katra railway track had eased out the traffic from Jammu station and this has proved to be a boon for Jammu railway station as well as to the pilgrims/tourists who visit Jammu as the traffic density at Jammu station has also thinned out.
Regarding the presence of Oil Depot near the Railway Station, Naveen Kumar informed that till date there was status-quo on it.
“The depot not only caters to the needs of Jammu Railways but entire Jammu region so it will require the Oil Ministry level initiatives to relocate it. Railways as well as Ministry of Petroleum are planning to shift it,” he disclosed.
The DTM said that Jammu- Jallandhar double laning project is being successfully executed.
“Presently, we have only two stretches of single lane and both are on the bridges, one over Ravi and another over Beas river. The work on both the bridges is going on at a good pace and we hope very soon the entire stretch will be doubled,” he added.
On the issue of electrification of tracks, Naveen Kumar said the whole track up to Katra station is completely electrified. “But presently we have only one power supply system which is located very far from Jammu at Sujanpur /Madhopur so there is a voltage issue up to Katra. We cannot run more trains on the same facilities. We are working on this and one power supply project is coming up at Manwal station. It has some issues with the State electricity department so after resolving that it will be operational very soon and we will be able to run more electric trains up to Katra Station,” he asserted.
However, he declined comments when asked about the bifurcation from Ferozpur Division except stating that one senior officer of the rank of Additional Divisional Railway Manager had been posted here last year and the Ministry and Railway Board are thinking over its division.
Giving importance to passenger amenities, the DTM disclosed that the project was under planning stage of Station Development Authority, which has selected Jammu station for its development for next 45 years catering passenger amenities, commercial utilization of the station as well as the area surrounding the station.
Regarding the absence of escalators and elevators at the railway station here, the DTM informed that two sets of the same have been sanctioned and the work of their installation is going on, which may become functional in between April or May this year.
Stressing to maintain cleanliness at the station, he said that a new department called as Environment and Health Management (ENHM) has come up with pilot project under which Jammu station has been selected and one officer of Divisional Health Management (DNHM) has been posted only to look after the cleanliness issues.
“We have only three platforms and the number of trains and the passenger foot fall is very huge compared to the infrastructure. Still, we try to maintain the cleanliness round the clock but sometimes we receive complaints but our focus is to make Jammu station clean and green,” he added.
On digitization of Railways, Naveen Kumar said that Ferozpur Division is taking every possible step to be at par with the latest technology and innovation introduced in Indian Railway.
However, the DTM could not mention the exact reasons for keeping far – flung hilly areas of Jammu province untouched with Railway for decades.
“Development of Railways in geographical hilly areas and terrains costs a lot and any progress and development is an incremental thing. However, one day we will reach to these untouched areas also,” he said.