Congress workers staged an agitation against the Northern Railways’s decision to discontinue the Rae Bareli-Unchahar Passenger train, which was termed under the category of poorly patronised train, in Rae Bareli on Friday. They alleged the central government’s decision to cancel the train, which traverses a distance of about 38 km since 1967, was intentional as it was launched on the initiation of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Divisional Regional Manager, Northern Railways, Lucknow region, A K Lahoti said, “About a month back, a review was conducted of trains that are poorly patronised and about 45 odd trains were identified across the country. In Lucknow Division, seven pair of trains were identified as poorly patronised trains, and included the Rae Bareli-Unchahar passenger train as well, which did not sell even 100 tickets on an average. Thus, the decision was taken to stop it.”
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Angered by this decision, block presidents of Congress sat on dharna in Unchahar area threatening to stop trains if their request of reviving the train was not accepted.
“The train was started because there is no other major public transport facility between Rae Bareli and Unchahar. It is a long distance for villagers and students, who have to come to Rae Bareli on a daily basis. Moreover, the train was going on in this manner for past three decades on the initiative of Indira Gandhi but now found running in loss,” said Vinay Dwivedi, Congress spokesperson in Rae Bareli.