Punjab Rail Roko: 200+ Goods Trains Stuck, Indian Railways Demands Safety Guarantees For Staff

Over 200 goods rakes have been stabled in the state of Punjab due to the ongoing ‘Rail Roko‘ agitation by farmers according to a statement issued by Railway Board.

The Railway Board has sought assurance from the State Government on the safety and security of trains, drivers and guards in order to resume freight services.

The statement added that about 100 coal rakes, 50 fertiliser rakes, several container rakes for export/import purposes besides 20 empty rakes totalling over 200 rakes are stuck inside the state. 

Indian Railways (IR) has requested the state government for a free run so that freight services may be commenced.

IR said that a threat to resume ‘Rail Roko’ on November 5, 2020 was creating uncertainty further adding that it was difficult to run trains under stipulated conditions.

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Claiming they were keen to resume services, IR says they will do so immediately after receiving assurance of safety and security from the Punjab Government.

Requesting clearance from State Government for train operation in Punjab at the earliest, IR said that Railway Drivers needed to have the confidence to operate freely.

IR observed that sporadic obstruction of track was still continuing at many places, especially around Amritsar and out side the power plants at Nabha and Talwandi Saboo, besides outside FCI’s silo at Moga.

According to the statement, IR said that petroleum and container rakes were not being allowed. IR started freight trains and started moving empty coaching rakes to maintenance depots for maintenance on 22nd and 23rd October 2020 after an assurance by local police that dharna has been lifted.

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 However, some of the freight trains and empty coaching rakes were obstructed again on October 23, 2020.

Thereafter, drivers and guards of IR refused to run trains in Punjab unless they were assured that trains would not be obstructed and necessary security will be provided by State Government.

Drivers/Guards were apprehensive that there could be some incidents of run over of people obstructing these trains.

IR concluded that it needed an assurance of safety, security and clearance of tracks to be able to operate trains adding that 960 plus goods and over 50 passenger trains stood blocked in festival times.

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