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    Dehradunam, Rishikeshah: New names for railway stations stir controversy in Uttarakhand

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    In a bid to promote use of Sanskrit in Uttarakhand, the Railways ministry decided to rename the name of its stations in the state. The signboards which have names of railway stations written in Hindi, English and Urdu will now be written in Hindi, English and Sanskrit.

    Dehradun railway station became Dehradunam and Rishikesh was renamed as Rishikeshah. But this has led to controversy over getting the names right.

    The move to have a Sanskrit name for railway stations in Uttarakhand started when a local BJP leader wrote to railway officials in January asking why the names of the places on railway signboards were not in Sanskrit as it was mandatory under railway manual to have names of places on such boards in the second official language, which in Uttarakhand’s case is Sanskrit.

    Last week, name of Dehradun railway station was written in Sanskrit as Dehradunam, along with Hindi and English, when the station re-opened for public after three months. The name for Doiwala railway station also in Dehradun has been written ‘Doiwalah’ and a new railway station in Rishikesh as ‘Yog Nagari Rishikeshah’.

    Rekha Sharma, senior divisional commercial manager Moradabad railway division, which manages the stations falling under Garhwal region, said though no official notification had been received by the division from the railway headquarters for writing of the names in Sanskrit, they have started work for getting the Sanskrit names right.

    Speaking on the name of Dehradun railway station being written in Sanskrit, which was later changed, Sharma said, “The name was written by the construction agency which was renovating the station. They had put up a board with the name written in Sanskrit. The board was removed as soon as the matter came to light.”

    The railway official, however, agreed that the name of a new railway station in Rishikesh (Yog Nagari Rishikeshah) has been written in Sanskrit along with Hindi and English, as the name was suggested by the state government.

    Rajendra Kumar Singh, public relations officer for Izzatnagar railway division that manages the railway stations falling under the Kumaon region, said the names of stations would be written in Sanskrit after orders are received from railway headquarters.

    However, a senior railway official from Kathgodam railway station in Nainital, wishing not to be named, said, “Even though official orders have not been received, preparations are afoot to write names of stations in Sanskrit.”

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