Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Jul 20, 2002
Columns - Focus
Recast to leave 7 zonal rlys single State-centric
Rabindra Nath Sinha
KOLKATA, July 19
SEVEN zonal railways will become single State-centric when the proposed redistribution of divisions takes effect as a result of the Union Government's decision to create seven new zones as also carve out some eight new divisions.
This will mark a complete departure from the prevailing decades-old arrangement under which the jurisdiction of each of the existing nine zonal railways covers more than one State; usually two-three and five in the case of Indian Railways no.1 freight carrier, South-Eastern Railway.
The seven zonal railways to become single State-centric include three that are going to be created North-Western Railway (NWR), South-Western Railway (SWR) and North-Central Railway (NCR) and four existing Central Railway (CR), Eastern Railway (ER), North-Eastern Railway (NER) and South-Central Railway (SCR).
Interestingly, four of these seven, that is, NCR, NER, CR and ER, though to become single State-centric, will have only parts of the respective States as their range of operations.
The jurisdiction of NWR, with three divisions - Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaipur and headquarters at Jaipur will thus be confined to Rajasthan.
SWR, with Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli as its three divisions and HQs at Hubli, will have only Karnataka as its operational area.
NCR, with HQs at Allahabad and Allahabad, Jhansi and Agra as its three divisions, will have Uttar Pradesh as its jurisdiction. But, there is a difference in this case as strictly speaking, NCR will have only some parts of Uttar Pradesh as its operational domain. This is because the existing NER, headquartered at Gorakhpur and to have Lucknow, Varanasi and Izatnagar (Bareily) as its three divisions after its area is truncated, will operate in some other parts of Uttar Pradesh.
CR, with HQs in Mumbai and Bhusawal, Nagpur, Mumbai (CST), Solapur and Pune as its five divisions, will service only parts of Maharashtra as Western Railway (WR), also headquartered in Mumbai and to have Mumbai Central as one of its six divisions, will also cover some parts of Maharashtra.
ER, headquartered in Kolkata and the proposed abrupt reduction in whose jurisdiction has become an extremely controversial issue, is to be left with four divisions Malda, Howrah, Sealdah and Asansol. Thus, ER's jurisdiction will cover only parts of West Bengal.
Some other parts will come under the domain of South-Eastern Railway whose divisions in West Bengal will be Kharagpur and Adra and North-East Frontier Railway, which is to continue to have the Alipurduar division in West Bengal.
SCR, headquartered at Secunderabad, is to retain the four existing divisions Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Guntakal and Vijayawada and have a new division at Guntur. Which means Andhra Pradesh alone is to remain SCR's sphere of operations.
The nine zonal railways, whose jurisdiction will extend beyond one State when the new arrangement is operationalised are East-Central Railway (parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand/HQs at Hajipur), East-Coast Railway (Orissa and part of Andhra Pradesh/HQs at Bhubaneswar), West-Central Railway (parts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan/HQs at Jabalpur), South-East Central Railway (parts of Chhattishgarh and Maharashtra/HQs at Bilaspur), Northern Railway (parts of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi/HQs at Delhi), North-East Frontier Railway (parts of Bihar, Assam and West Bengal/HQs at Guwahati), Southern Railway (parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala/HQs in Chennai), South-Eastern Railway (parts of West Bengal and Jharkhand/HQs in Kolkata) and Western Railway (parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat/HQs in Mumbai).
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