Pune: Encroachments on railway tracks have been a big hurdle for the railway authorities while carrying out maintenance work for the past several years. Many accidents have taken place due to the poor maintenance of the tracks. This creates hurdles for development work of the Railways.
Pune, an ‘A’ grade railway station, is not the only station suffering illegal encroachments at Nagjhari siding track near Sangam bridge. The Central Railway is also facing the same issue at Daund, an important station on Mumbai-Chennai line, which is not only causing inconvenience to the railway employees staying in the colonies but is also putting the Railways’ future plans at risk.
According to officials of the Solapur division, “Daund junction is one of the busiest stations. As many as 1,000 employees and staff attached to the station in different departments live with families in railway colonies. The railway colonies are situated in the main city limits. Encroachment of railway land and illegal settlements have increased to an alarming level, which has made the lives of railway employees difficult.”
“Due to this large-scale illegal encroachment at Daund, the railway station is becoming more and more squalid in terms of hygiene. This, combined with the cacophony created by the encroachers, some of whom are also drug addicts, has made the situation quite unbearable for railway employees staying in the locality,” said a senior officer with Solapur division.
Not only this, the encroachment is also likely to affect the future plans of the Railways, which plans to create some facilities on the land that is under encroachment. “Several ambitious projects such as doubling of the line between Daund-Manmad, electric loco-shed, sleeper factory, chord line are suffering due to the encroachments,” said the officer.
While Railway employees and officers have been demanding that the encroachments should be removed, the local administration including District Collector, Chief Executive Officer, Daund, are not responding favourably, which is worsening the problem, officials said.