Dimapur’s Railway Land Encroachment Crisis Jeopardises Rs. 283 Crore Redevelopment Project

Dimapur Railway Station

The much-anticipated redevelopment of the century-old Dimapur Railway Station in Nagaland has hit a major roadblock due to long-standing land encroachment issues, which are likely to cause significant delays in transforming the station into a world-class facility.

Dimapur Railway Station, a vital transportation hub in the Northeast, was selected as one of the 508 stations across India to be upgraded under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious station modernisation plan launched in August 2023.

The project, with an estimated cost of Rs. 283 crore, aims to extend the station building area from 5,160 sqm to 17,484 sqm, construct a 72-metre wide roof plaza, increase parking capacity, and add modern passenger amenities. The redevelopment is expected to transform the station into a new city centre, boosting the region’s connectivity and economic growth.

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However, the long-standing issue of land encroachment has emerged as a major hurdle in the project’s progress. Out of the total 53.806 hectares of railway land in Dimapur, a staggering 30.283 hectares have been encroached upon since the 1960s.

The railway boundary is currently home to 1,148 unauthorised structures, including religious buildings, schools, and shops. These encroachments have severely hindered the expansion of passenger amenities at Dimapur station, with plans for doubling tracks, extending platforms, constructing canopies, and laying a broad-gauge track being stalled due to the unavailability of land.

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Dimapur Railway Station Land Enroachment

Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) officials have stated that evicting encroachers requires assistance from the Nagaland state government. The NFR has approached the state government multiple times to verify land records and provide support for removing illegal occupants.

In September 2023, NFR General Manager Chetan Kumar Srivastava appealed for cooperation from all stakeholders to enable unimpeded development, acknowledging the state government’s positive efforts in forming a high-power committee to study the encroachment issue and submit a report.

The impact of these encroachments extends beyond the railway station itself, affecting the economic activities in the region. The delay in the station’s redevelopment has hindered the growth of local businesses and the overall development of Dimapur.

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The modernisation of the railway station is crucial for improving connectivity, attracting investments, and creating employment opportunities in the area.

Resolving the land encroachment challenges is essential for Dimapur to realise its vision of a world-class railway station. The NFR is awaiting the state government’s action to evict encroachers based on the committee’s report so that the Rs. 283 crore project can proceed as planned.

The complex issue of removing long-standing encroachments on railway land needs to be addressed through close coordination between the Indian Railways and the Nagaland government to prevent further delays.

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The modernisation of Dimapur Railway Station promises significant benefits for the region, and the resolution of the land encroachment issue will be key to unlocking the station’s infrastructure upgrade.

The successful completion of this project will not only provide a world-class facility for passengers but also contribute to the overall development of Dimapur and the surrounding areas.

As the stakeholders work together to find a solution, the people of Nagaland eagerly await the transformation of their century-old railway station into a modern, efficient, and passenger-friendly hub.

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