The Union Home Ministry has approved the renaming of Manduadih railway station in Uttar Pradesh as 'Banaras', officials said on Monday. The Uttar Pradesh government had sent a request for renaming the railway station in Varanasi district.
A 'no objection certificate' has been issued for changing the name of the Manduadih railway station to 'Banaras', a Home Ministry official said. The home ministry considers proposals for name change according to the existing guidelines in consultations with agencies concerned.
It gives its approval to any proposal for change of name of any place after taking no-objections from the Ministry of Railways, Department of Posts and Survey of India, another official said. For changing the name of a village or town or a city, an executive order is needed. The renaming of a state requires amendment of the Constitution with a simple majority in Parliament, the official said.
Manduadih is a place in Varanasi situated about four kilometres from Varanasi Cantt 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.
When the name change was proposed two years ago, Dushyant Rai, the Rajbhasha consultant in the Railway Board, had explained, "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 was then quoted saying by 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.