The process to bifurcate the Northern Railway Division, Ferozepur, to carve out the Jammu division has reached an advanced stage and a team of officials from New Delhi was in Ferozepur on Thursday to finalise the draft of the proposal.
According to reports, the hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, presently under the Ferozepur division, would become part of the Jammu division and a new complex for the division would be set up near Jammu railway station at a cost of `125 crore.
The Ferozepur division, which came into being in 1862, is the biggest railway division with 239 railway stations in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. These include major railway stations Amritsar, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Ferozepur and Kapurthala in Punjab, Kangra, Palampur, Baijnath Paprola and Joginder Nagar in Himachal Pradesh besides Jammu Tawi.
“Carving of Jammu division would improve the functioning of the rail network in hilly areas, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. The union government is keen to lay down a rail track even in the Leh Ladakh area to strengthen means of transport for security agencies,” said a senior railway functionary pleading anonymity.
The employees, who are natives of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, presently working in Ferozepur or any other division may be given priority to seek transfer in the new Jammu division for which funds would be released in the next railway Budget.
“Bifurcating Ferozepur railway division is good, but the government should run more trains in the region. Moreover, historical places of the vicinity must be brought on the tourism map via a special rail network,” demanded Mehar Singh, a local advocate.
“The union government should also consider to start more trains in the region and help to develop it as a hub of tourism,” Amit Sharma, a businessman.
Divisional rail manager, Ferozepur, Anuj Parkash, admitted the bifurcation of the Ferozepur division is in progress. The modalities were being worked out,” he added.