Train services in Punjab hit as farmers take out 4-hour Rail Roko protest
Thousands of rail passengers faced inconvenience as half a dozen trains, including Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Express and Vande Bharat Express, got delayed due to the farmers’ four-hour Rail Roko protest in Punjab on Tuesday.
As the agitators squatted on the railway tracks in many parts of the state in protest against the central government’s farm norms, Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, which was scheduled to depart at 12.05 pm, was delayed for around four hours. It departed at 4 pm.
Vande Bharat, which was scheduled to reach Chandigarh railway station from Una at 3.20 pm, got delayed by around one and a half hours. It is expected to reach at 5 pm. Meanwhile, Lucknow Junction Express was held up for more than two hours. Its scheduled time for departure is 5.10 pm but it was rescheduled for 7 pm.
“We were a group of three people who booked our seats. Two of my friends later opted to go to Delhi via taxi when they came to know about the rescheduling of the Shatabdi. I preferred to go in the rescheduled Shatabdi,” said Ashok Gupta, a passenger of Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi Express.
A rail officer from Ambala said that the protest made an impact on the occupancy of trains.
Meanwhile, chaos prevailed in Chandigarh railway station which mostly witnessed the rush at the scheduled timing of trains. People were standing with their luggage for many hours at all the platforms.
Chandigarh station superintendent J P Singh said that the authorities kept making announcements about the rescheduled timings of the delayed trains. “Earlier, there was uncertainty among passengers that the trains got cancelled. Officials at Ambala Railway Division decided to reschedule the trains. The morning Shatabdi, which departed at 6.53 am, was on time,” Singh said.
Express and passenger trains, including Gorakhpur Express, Delhi SF Express and Bathinda-Suratgarh passenger special, were rescheduled from Bathinda also.
Protesters sat on rail tracks in many places including Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Sangrur, Fazilka, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran.