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Congress workers stage 'rail roko' protests in Chhattisgarh against cancellation of passenger trains

However, a spokesperson of the South East Central Railway (SECR) said less than one per cent of the average passenger trains running daily have been cancelled in the last few months due to rail development works.
Last Updated : 13 September 2023, 14:05 IST

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Congress leaders and workers on Wednesday staged 'rail roko' protests at various railway stations in Chhattisgarh, claiming a number of passenger trains passing through the state have been cancelled over the last few months.

However, a spokesperson of the South East Central Railway (SECR) said less than one per cent of the average passenger trains running daily have been cancelled in the last few months due to rail development works.

The demonstration on Wednesday disrupted rail traffic at many places, including in Durg, Bilaspur and Kanker districts, where Congress workers sat on railway tracks raising slogans against the BJP-led Centre.

Workers of the ruling Congress in Chhattisgarh also held a demonstration outside Raipur railway station and then squatted on tracks at platform no. 1.

They were evacuated by security personnel after a brief period and the movement of trains at Raipur railway station remained unaffected.

Addressing protesters in front of Raipur railway station, Congress MLA Vikas Upadhyay hit out at the Centre, claiming train services have collapsed in the last nine years.

He alleged that trains are not being run on time and are cancelled abruptly, causing trouble to passengers.

The Centre is trying to privatise the country's most reliable passenger transport facility, he claimed.

The state Congress in a statement also claimed that in the last few months, more than 2,600 trains operated in Chhattisgarh were cancelled posing huge problems for passengers.

Railway police and state police personnel were deployed near protest sites and at various railway stations across the state.

In Bilaspur, Congress workers squatted on the railway tracks near Kota, Bilha, Jairam Nagar, Belgahna and Bilaspur stations and blocked goods trains.

Congress workers led by MLA Arun Vora sat on tracks of Mumbai-Howrah route at Durg railway station, disrupting movement of trains for about an hour.

Some of the protesters also climbed on the engine of a train.

At Bhanupratappur railway station (Kanker district), Congress MLA Savitri Mandavi and party workers stopped the Antagarh-Raipur passenger train during the protest.

Around 200 Congress workers squatted on a railway track at Raigarh railway station for more than an hour.

South East Central Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer Saket Ranjan said the SECR is committed to ensure comfortable journey and facilities to passengers and less than one per cent of the average passenger trains running daily have been cancelled in the last few months due to rail development works.

The SECR zone, headquartered in Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), comprises three railway divisions—Raipur, Bilaspur and Nagpur.

Currently, 245 trains are being operated daily in the SECR zone, he said.

Due to the rising traffic and demand, rail development works are being carried out in the SECR, the official said.

All the development works are being done in the interest of passengers and it will enhance railway facilities in future, he said.

"A fourth line is being constructed on Jharsuguda- Bilaspur route and third line on Nagpur-Rajnandgaon route and Katni-Anuppur route. Due to development works, sometimes it becomes difficult to operate trains as per the time table,” he said.

Less than one per cent of the average passenger trains running daily have been cancelled in the last few months, that too for minimum days, in view of development works, he added.

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Published 13 September 2023, 14:05 IST

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