New train in a hurry leaves behind people in big worry

It is not quite often that politicians cut short their speech. But when they do,it might result in real faux pas.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: February 8, 2009 4:26 am

It is not quite often that politicians cut short their speech. But when they do,it might result in real faux pas. Such was the case at the flagging off ceremony of the Hazar Duari Express,a new train to link Kolkata with the historical city of Murshidabad.

On Saturday morning,as speakers at the ceremony cut short their allotted time space for speech,it resulted in the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee flagging off the new train four minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time — 10.30 am.

While a host of leaders were rejoicing the flagging off of the new train,hailing the efforts of the Centre,a group of passengers were fighting it out with railway officials at the New Kolkata station platform for letting the train leave four minutes before time – at 10.26 am. They had missed the train on its inaugural run.

Ranjit Sarkar,one of the harried passengers,rushed to the station manager’s room and demanded that the Hazar Duari Express be stopped at the Dum Dum junction,so that he and several others who had missed the train could catch it there. But that was not possible,the officials said.

The railway officials admitted that the train did leave earlier than the scheduled time.

At the ceremony,meanwhile,Mukherjee elaborated on the fact that development of infrastructure was an important issue,not merely of rail,road and port but also development of the medical and social infrastructure. Mukherjee also took the opportunity to praise Lalu Prasad Yadav saying that “the Railways now is far more self-sufficient than it was five years earlier”.

Sharing the dais with Mukherjee were Transport Minister Subhash Chakraborty,CPM MPs Sudhangshu Seal,Md Sallim and Amitava Nandi,Chairman of the standing committee on railways Basudeb Acharia.

The Hazar Duari Express is expected to run for five-days a week now. The services will extend to seven days within a month.

No official word from Pak on 26/11:Pranab
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today reiterated that India is yet to receive an official response from Pakistan on the country’s probe into the Mumbai terror strikes despite its Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s promise to make public the outcome of the investigation public earlier this week.

“My point is clear and simple. Until I receive official communication from the Pakistani authorities of the outcome of the investigation,it is difficult for me to make any comment,” Mukherjee said. “I cannot make any comment whether it comes from the Prime Minister of Pakistan or from other authorities unless I get something officially through diplomatic channels,” he added.

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