By Brajendra Nath Singh,
Varanasi : The holy city of Varanasi is soon likely to get a railway station named “Banaras”.
The Railway Ministry is considering renaming the Manduadih railway station as Banaras railway station.
Manduadih is among one of the four railway stations in the city besides Varanasi Junction, popularly known as Varanasi Cantt Railway Station, Varanasi City and Kashi.
Minister of State for Railway Manoj Sinha told a group of journalists: “There is a proposal to change the name of Manduadih railway station. The ministry is considering it. We have already stations in the names Varanasi and Kashi. Only the name of Banaras is left out.”
Manduadih is a place in Varanasi situated about four kilometers from Varanasi Cant Station. The Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), where engine parts of the train are manufactured, is situated near Manduadih.
Varanasi, also called Banaras and Kashi, was chosen in 2014 by Narendra Modi to contest the Lok Sabha polls from city of Uttar Pradesh.
The name Varanasi is said to be derived from combination of ‘Varuna’ and ‘Asi’ — the names of rivers. Kashi is the ancient name of Varanasi.
Dushyant Rai, the Rajbhasha consultant in the Railway Board, welcomed the move.
“The name Banaras means ‘bana rahe ras’. This word reflects the real culture of the city. The people in Banaras enjoy everything. Be it ‘geet-sangeet, puja-path and also misthanna-paan’,” said Rai, who hails from the city.
A top railway official of Varanasi division told IANS: “The name Manduadih doesn’t sound good and doesn’t connect with the legacy of Banaras which the name Banaras does.”
Mughalsarai Junction is another important station located near Varanasi whose name was changed to Deen Dayal Upadhyay junction in October 2017 after the BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh.
A plan to change the name of a railway station goes through a long process. It must be cleared by the Home Ministry after a state sends a proposal of renaming a station to the Ministry of Railways.