Udayavni Special

Rail roko agitation to severely affect movement of essential items, foodgrains: rlys


PTI, Sep 24, 2020, 5:44 PM IST

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New Delhi: The railways on Thursday said the ”rail roko” agitation in Punjab over farm bills will severely impact loading of foodgrains and other essential goods as well as the movement of passengers travelling on special trains, mostly on an urgent basis.

Farmers in Punjab on Thursday began their three-day ”rail roko” agitation to protest against the three farm bills while the Ferozepur Railway division suspended the operation of special trains due to the stir

The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, have been passed by both Houses and await presidential assent.

“The disruption of rail services at this time will have a serious impact on freight loading as well as passengers movement. It will affect movement of essential goods. Just as the economy is recovering, the agitation will severely hurt the freight movement that has gained some momentum since the Unlock. Also, this is a time when people are travelling for emergency purposes and this will hurt them too as we have had to cancel/divert special trains,” said general manager, Northern and North Central Railway Rajiv Chaudhry told PTI.

Officials here said that Punjab loaded 990 rakes of FCI foodgrains in August this year and 816 rakes till September 23.

Thus, FCI is loading more than 35 rakes of food grains daily from Punjab.

They said Punjab also loads 9-10 rakes daily of fertilizer, cement, auto, mixed goods in containers.

The state receives around 20 rakes daily of coal, food grain, farm products, machinery petroleum products, imported fertilizer etc.

Special passenger trains running from the railways” Ferozepur division have been cancelled fully or partially from September 24 to 26 in view of the farmer outfits’ three-day rail roko protest against the Centre”s agriculture bills.

Many freight and parcel trains have also been rescheduled.

According to the schedule, the Amritsar-Haridwar train will be cancelled from September 25 to 26 and the New Delhi-Jammu Tawi Express from September 24 to 26.

The Hazur Saheb Nanded-Amritsar train will not go to Amritsar and end its journey in Old Delhi. Train number 02716 will run from Old Delhi instead of Amritsar on September 25 and 26.

The Dhanbad-Ferozepur Cantt train will not go to Ferozepur Cantt and end its journey at Ambala Cantt. Train number 03308 will run from Ambala Cantt from September 24 to 26 instead of Ferozepur Cantt.

The Mumbai Central-Amritsar train arriving on September 24 will be brought to Ludhiana and it will end its journey at Ambala from September 25 to 26.

Train number 02904 will run from Ambala from September 24 to 26 instead of Amritsar.

As many as 20 trains have been partially cancelled while five have been short terminated.

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