By DK Sinha
Patna: Railway Ministry on Thursday clarified that Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (IRIMEE), Jamalpur would not be shifted to Lucknow, causing a major embarrassment to BJP`s ruling ally JD (U) in Bihar as it was raking up the issue vigorously.
The railway ministry’s clarification came a day after JD (U) Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha, a close aide of chief minister Nitish Kumar claimed that the railways was planning to shift IRIMEE out of Jamalpur and even referred to chief minister Nitish Kumar’s letter in this regard.
The railways in its clarification said, “It has been reported in media that it is being planned to shift Indian Railways Institute for Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (IRIMEE), from Jamalpur to Lucknow. Ministry of Railways clarifies that it has no plans to shift IRIMEE from Jamalpur to Lucknow. Any assertions to this effect are incorrect and misleading and do not have the approval of the Ministry of Railways. In fact, Ministry of Railways has planned to enlarge the activities of IRIMEE to also impart educational programmes in transportation technology and management.”
Several additional educational programmes starting with 1-year Diploma courses at Jamalpur are planned to be introduced for which curriculum development and design is underway. Indian Railways is very proud of the history and legacy of IRIMEE and there is no question of it being transferred from its present location, it added.
“In fact, all efforts are to further strengthen it and enlarge its role at the existing location. Railways in particular and the transportation sector in general in India are witnessing major growth and transformation. A well-developed training and educational facility like IRIMEE in Jamalpur will not only play a significant role in providing training to Indian Railway employees but also provide high quality professional education and skills to youths from Bihar and neighbouring areas and contribute to economic development in the region,” the clarification further added.
Responding to the clarification, Jha said, “We thank railway ministry for having clarified that iconic IRIMEE shall not be shifted out of Jamalpur, Munger. The Bihar government is committed to extend its finest cooperation to ensure the institution further flourishes.”
On Wednesday Jha had created virtually a political storm, once again bringing relationship between JD (U) and BJP under scanner by making a series of tweets on the issue.
In the first tweet, Jha said, “Bihar takes strong exception to Railway Ministry`s order dated April 24 to shift prestigious Jamalpur-based Indian Railway Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering out of Munger. CM Nitish Kumar has asked railway minister Piyush Goyal to intervene on this regressive move.
In another tweet, he said, Nitish Kumar has written a letter on May 1 to Rail Min Piyush Goyal, requesting him to immediately rescind this decision. IRIMEE represents rich legacy of Railways and Bihar. Its great historical linkage with Bihar needs to be strengthened and not severed.”
In yet another tweet, Bihar Minister said, “This oldest central training institute has been an iconic institution, and a pride of Bihar. Established in 1888, IRIMEE, Jamalpur has been most coveted centre for training to Indian Railway`s top brains since 1927. How can a legacy of 93 years be wiped off so brazenly?”
Raking the issue further, he tweeted, “In 2015, Bihar urged Centre to upgrade IRIMEE into an university. It was informed that instead National Academy of Railway, Vadodara was being upgraded as 1st national university and IRIMEE shall operate under this new university. Now, this move to shift it is unacceptable.”
Finally, he tweeted, “The rather intriguing move of shifting is shocking. IRIMEE, Jamalpur is integral to rich legacy of Bihar and CM Nitish Kumar takes great pride in this. We earnestly request Piyush Goel to intervene and ensure rescind of this outrageous order.”
In the backdrop of Jha`s assertions, deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had countered it by tweeting, “It is totally false that Indian Railway Institute, Jamalpur is being shifted to Lucknow. I talked to Piyush Goel and he said that he had received a letter from Nitish Kumar. Instead GOI will develop it as a campus of Railway University Baroda.”[the_ad_placement id=”sidebar-feed”]