How do you make Indian Railways improve the quality of coaches and railway stations in Arunachal Pradesh, the easternmost state usually in focus for China’s territorial claims?. The answer, it seems, is by changing the governor. In May, former Assam chief secretary JP Rajkhowa replaced Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma as the first civilian governor of Arunachal Pradesh in almost eight years. One of the first things he did was inspect the railway station at Naharlagun, which forms the capital complex along with Itanagar 12 km uphill.
Rajkhowa was unhappy with the lack of facilities and hygiene at the railway station. He was even more upset with the condition of the coaches of two trains that connect Arunachal Pradesh with the rest of the country – the Naharlagun-Guwahati Intercity Express and Naharlagun-New Delhi AC Express. This, he noted, was not warranted since the first train to Naharlagun was flagged off in April last year.
On Monday, the Guwahati-based Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) general manager RS Virdi met Rajkhowa in Itanagar and briefed him about the action taken on his observations.“We have replaced the coaches of the two trains with brand new ones besides improving the Naharlagun railway station and strengthening the railway staff position by posting a station master,” Virdi said.
Virdi added that cleanliness of the railway section in Arunachal Pradesh and the security aspect were being taken care of.
The governor commended the NFR for compliance of his observations, which he had taken up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and railway minister Suresh Prabhu.