Kashi has railway stations after its three names Kashi, Varanasi, Banaras
Manduadih railway station, equipped with modern facilities for passengers as well as physically challenged travellers, will now be known as Banaras railway station.
The Union home ministry on Monday approved the renaming of the several-decades-old railway station. North Eastern Railway (Varanasi division) public relations officer Ashok Kumar said, “It is the best station in Varanasi division in terms of facilities. It is equipped with an air-conditioned lounge, world-class retiring room, digital chart facility, a cafeteria and food plaza. Its architecture is unique and looks like an airport.”
Kumar said that the station is also equipped with special facilities for differently-abled people. A plan was envisaged for developing it as a satellite station to decrease the pressure on Varanasi Cantt railway station.
Former union minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha took a keen interest in developing the railway station as one that is equipped with all possible facilities for passengers. Thereafter, the station was completely transformed two years ago. Earlier, it had three platforms but now boasts of eight, and a beautiful building. The transformation took place at an estimated cost of Rs 37 crore.
Kumar said that 21 pairs of mail and express trains and five pairs of passenger trains pass through the railway station on normal days. Also, eight pairs of mail express trains and two pairs of passenger trains originate and terminate at the station.
An official, who didn’t wish to be quoted, said that before the 2019 general elections, then union minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha wrote a letter to chief minister Yogi Adityanath urging him to ponder over renaming of Manduadih station as Banaras. During a speech at a programme, in Varanasi in 2019, the chief minister mentioned Sinha’s letter and assured him that he would consider it. But the process could not proceed further due to elections. After the election, the process moved forward.
BHU social sciences dean Kaushal Kishore Mishra said, “Kashi is also known as Varanasi and Banaras. In the ancient city, a railway station is named after Kashi. It is known as Kashi railway station. Another station is named after Varanasi - Varanasi Cantt. A railway station named after Banaras was needed for a long time. Now it has happened. It is a good step.”
Banaras is well known across the world but not as Manduadih. Therefore, the renaming of the station was the need of the hour, Mishra said and added that it will help attract tourists and promote tourism.