Freshly BrewedJharkhand

Giridih: Got a railway station in 1871, but no superfast train even after 152 years

The city may not occupy a prominent position on the railway map but it contributes significant revenue to the Eastern Railway from the ticket (reservations) travellers make for their journeys to different cities

Giridih: Rich in minerals like coal, mica and quartz stones and producer of iron and steel, Giridih, once, used to be known as the health resort of eastern India. The city has been visited by almost all Bengali legends. It also gave Jharkhand, its first chief minister, but despite all, this city which has one of the oldest railway station in India is yet to get a prominent position on the railway map of India. The Giridih Station, set up in 1871, has never been considered a stoppage for a single superfast train.

This is the story of Giridih City.

Three years back, it got another station – New Giridih but the same old story continued. Indian Railways, considered the lifeline of the country, has left Giridih untouched from its connectivity. And this has not only affected the city’s development but has also made life difficult for its residents.

However, the challenges faced by the residents on a daily basis don’t make much impact on the lawmakers of the city. Read on to know how:

The oldest station, a major revenue contributor but no train

Giridih Railway Station, established in 1871, is one of the oldest railway stations in India only after CST (Mumbai), Howrah and Chennai stations. But even after a century-and-a-half, only a passenger train plies on its tracks. Now, the city has another station– New Giridih, but it is also not getting any major train movement. However, because of a large number of commuters, the city, contributes a significant revenue for the Eastern Railway from the tickets (reservations) travellers make for their journeys to different cities across the country.

Paying extra buck and time to travel from train

To board a train to the state capital Ranchi, National capital Delhi or the nearest metro Kolkata, people from Giridih town have to travel to Parasnath, Madhupur and Dhanbad.

This means that the traveller has to bear extra expense and spend extra time to travel to the nearest Parasnath, Madhupur and Dhanbad stations, which are situated 43, 55 and 60 kilometres away from Giridih.

So how do people travel?

Rich and business-class people, who are frequent travellers to Kolkata, Ranchi and Patna, have to travel by private vehicles. Some even have vehicles with Bengal numbers and drivers who have experience of travelling on the roads of Kolkata.

The upper middle class has to bear immense pain to reach Madhupur, Parasnath or Dhanbad and catch different superfast trains from these stations. While the lower economic group travellers not just use the trains but also buses for their travel. More than two dozen buses ply every day between Kolkata, Patna and Ranchi to cater for the needs of the passengers.

Every class needs train service

“There are people, who can afford extra money and try to save their time, but every such person I know wants to travel by train especially to go to Kolkata and Patna,” Pradip Kumar Agrawal, the member of Zonal Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (Easter Railway) told eNewsroom. Agarwal is also the regional vice president of Koylanchal, Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce & Industries.

Agrawal recently became a member and tried his part, but, did the representatives of Giridih sent to Parliament did enough? The answer, is a big No.

From 2014 to 2019, Jharkhand had a ‘Double Engine’ government. Moreover, it even has a Member of Parliament either from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or alliance partners since 1996 to till now, except in 2004, when Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha (JMM)’s Teklal Mahto had won.

Ravindra Pandey was five times MP from Giridih, which at present is being represented by AJSU’s CP Choudhary. But the Double Engine government and consecutive MPs, who earlier used to have ‘bringing railways in their respective constituencies’ in their agenda, could not bring a single train for the residents, who suffer every day because of the lack of railway connectivity.

Amid Vande Bharat’s fanfare launching, the worst time for Giridih people

The only silver lining, for the residents, were the three coaches, which used to be attached with Kolkata and Patna bound trains from Madhupur station. Two coaches- a sleeper and air-conditioned each for the Kolkata route and one sleeper for Patna used to be full when it used to ply to the capitals of Bihar and Bengal.

But during the first lockdown in 2020, the service was stopped and later discontinued forever.

“We have written to the railway ministry and requested Koderma MP Annapurna Devi to line up a meeting with the railway minister Ashwini Vaishnav in July. We have demanded a train between Kolkata and Patna via Giridih and will discuss the issue with the minister when we meet,” informed Agarwal.

The new member seems serious about the issue but what about our representatives?

The present MP Choudhary has only this much to say, “I am aware of the problem and we are working on it, soon something constructive happen,” he told eNewsroom.

“When I was the MP between 1984-1989, the coaches to Patna and Kolkata were attached to Danapur Express in Madhupur. This was done after considering the needs of the residents of this city. But now, when the BJP government came without providing any alternative, the coach system has been discontinued with. Giridih has sent BJP and NDA leaders six times to the parliament in the last thirty years, but people now feel cheated. In the last nine years, BJP has the government at the centre but no steps have been taken to provide railway facility,” rued Dr Sarfaraz Ahmed, presently serving as an MLA from Gandey constituency.

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One Comment

  1. Yes, It should be done. I think Eastern railway should run the train Kolkata-Patna express which was running before the lockdown but not now 13111 up and 13112 down. It could be started from Kolkata via Madhupur-New Giridih-Koderma-Gaya-Jehanabad to Patna. Once I had heard about it from railway sources but not started yet.

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