The Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to develop Bikram Chowk Railway Station here as a heritage site to attract tourists visiting the city of temples, a senior government official said on Tuesday. Jammu Divisional Commissioner Raghav Langer was on a visit to the railway station, which was built in 1897 but was abandoned after the partition as the railway link to Sialkot (Pakistan) was broken.
Accompanied by senior officers, Langer assessed the renovation requirements and issued instructions for starting the preliminary work to materialise the restoration plan, an official spokesman said. “Development of new attractions and upgradation and improvement of the existing infrastructure for promotion of tourism is one of the priority sectors of the government,” the divisional commissioner said.
Langer, along with other officers, took a round of various blocks of the station and observed that different landmarks and remnants are still available at the site. “The railway station has a historical and heritage significance and extraordinary efforts should be made for restoring its past grandeur,” he said, directing the Tourism Department and Jammu Smart City Limited (JSCL) to make a project report (proposal) for the renovation of the railway station, including all the important components of the project.
He said the refurbishment of the railway station would add another dimension to the heritage tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. He also directed the officers concerned to go through the pictures available of the historic railway station as it had existed earlier, so that it is restored to its pristine glory.
The old Jammu railway station was on the Jammu Sialkot line which had train services from Jammu to Sialkot (vice-versa) by passing through R S Pura, Miran Sahib and Suchetgarh. The divisional commissioner directed the south tehsildar and the Jammu Development Authority to conduct a demarcation exercise and submit a complete report along with survey numbers involved, land titleship and other revenue details of the site.
He also directed the officials concerned to take drone shots of the station and mark the buildings which could be renovated.