Sunday, January 17, 2021
Follow us on
BREAKING NEWS
Punjab

22 tracks still blocked, clear all to resume services: Railways

November 07, 2020 05:44 AM

COURTESY HT NOV 7

22 tracks still blocked, clear all to resume services: Railways
Railway Board chairman says they will not run selective trains in Punjab, whether freight or passenger, but will restore all services

Members of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) holding a protest in front of the Rajpura thermal power plant in Patiala district on Friday. BHARAT BHUSHAN /HT
Press Trust of India

letterschd@hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : The Punjab government has been unable to remove all blockades on the railway network with as many as 22 sites still to be cleared of protesters, Railway Board chairman VK Yadav said on Friday, adding that the railways needs 100% security clearance from the state to resume operations.

Yadav, in a press briefing on Thursday, said the state government had given assurance that the tracks would be cleared by Friday morning. Rail services in the state have remained suspended since September 24 when farmer organisations organised protests on tracks and station premises against the recently passed farm laws.

Yadav said the railways will not run selective trains, but will restore all services. “There are 22 blockades remaining in the state as of now. The RPF and the state police have had meetings in Chandigarh yesterday and we conveyed to them that they provide security for all trains so that we can restore them at one go. We will not start selective train services, whether freight or passenger. We have conveyed to them that we require 100% security clearance from them to begin operations,” he said.

During the meetings with state government officials, it was indicated that the state wanted freight trains to resume operations but not passenger trains, it is learnt. Also, there were proposals from the state to begin transportation of select goods for a select number of days, which the railways declined to do, it is learnt.

Officials privy to the development said the railways has conveyed to the state government that this “on and off” system suggested by them was “not feasible”.

“We have bookings for passenger trains and it is sad that during the festival season, we are cancelling trains. I have full faith in the state government that in some time the blockades will be cleared and we won’t have to cancel the trains scheduled for tomorrow,” said Yadav at a press briefing on Friday.

Railway Protection Force (RPF) director general Arun Kumar said while in some places protesters were cleared from the tracks, they have accumulated in circulation area. The concern, he says, is that these people might again block the tracks. “We have requested the state police to provide additional force so that if they converge on the tracks again, they can be restricted,” he said.

3 Cong MPs met railway minister Goyal again

Chandigarh : : Three Congress MPs from Punjab met Union railway minister Piyush Goyal again on Friday to discuss the resumption of train services to the state.

The MPs – Preneet Kaur, Manish Tewari and Dr Amar Singh – met the minister in the evening. The meeting lasted close to two hours, but the MPs later refused to share details of their discussions. Later, the railways ministry tweeted that the state government is misguiding by saying that all tracks are clear for movement of goods trains.

Have something to say? Post your comment