Indian Railways redeveloped Habibganj to become Rani Kamlapati station; Know how station name is changed

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November 15, 2021 4:42 PM

Many times state governments decide to change station names to represent history or long-standing popular demand, or as part of a political project pushing for a wider iconography.

Habibganj, Rani Kamlapati stationOn Monday, the railway station will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The name of Indian Railways’ Habibganj station in Bhopal has been changed to Rani Kamlapati railway station. Last week, the Madhya Pradesh state government proposed this to the Centre, which gave the clearance without any delay. This is to coincide with the railway station’s inauguration, which has been redeveloped at a cost of around Rs 100 crore with private participation. On Monday, the railway station will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to an IE report. The MP government said the station renaming is to honour the memory as well as sacrifices made by a queen of the Gond community.

Who was Rani Kamlapati?
Rani Kamlapati was Nizam Shah’s widow. Shah’s Gond dynasty ruled the then Ginnorgarh, 55 kilometres from Bhopal, in the 18th century. The famous seven-storeyed Kamlapati Palace in Bhopal was built by Nizam Shah in her name. According to CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Kamlapati was the “last Hindu queen of Bhopal”. The queen performed great work in the area of water management and also, set up temples and parks, he said.

Why does the name of a railway station change?
According to the report, the name changing of railway stations is not new. Many times state governments decide to change station names to represent history or long-standing popular demand, or as part of a political project pushing for a wider iconography.

How are the names of railway stations changed?
There is a misconception that the national transporter can change the name of its stations. However, that is not the case. While the station may be owned by Indian Railways, it does not get involved in the business of naming it. This is left to the discretion of the concerned state government. Changing railway station names is a state subject even though Indian Railways belong to the Union government. The request is sent by the state governments to the Home Affairs Ministry, which then accords its approval, keeping the Ministry of Railways in the loop. It is usually ensured that no other railway station with the new name proposed exists anywhere in the country. The national transporter receives regular representations from political parties, civil society groups as well as others to change the station names, citing historical reasons or local sentiments. In most cases, it replies that it is a matter for the Home Ministry and the state government.

What happens when a station name is changed?
Once the railway station name change is notified by the state government following all due process, the national transporter steps in to do the necessary work. A new railway station “code” for rail operation purposes may need to be invented. Then the change of station name is fed into its ticketing system so that the new railway station name along with the station code is reflected on its tickets as well as reservation and train information. At last, it physically changes the station name written at platform signage, building, etc, as well as in its communication materials for all practical purposes.

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