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Protesting villagers win, 2 trains to stop at Ancheli for 6 months

Raising the demand, around 24,000 voters from the villages had also called to boycott the upcoming state Assembly elections. They had put up banners announcing the same in the villages.

Officials have to maintain a record of ticket sales and submit it to the Western Railway before April 30, 2023. (Representational/File)

Heeding the demand of people from 18 villages in Navsari district, the Western Railway has allowed a stoppage to Surat-Virar Express train and Bharuch-Virar express train at Ancheli railway station for six months on an experimental basis.

Residents of these 18 villages, including Ancheli, have been protesting demanding a stoppage for these trains for 11 months and had made representations to Navsari MP and state BJP chief CR Paatil, Union Minister of State for Railways and Textiles Darshana Jardosh, Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnav and local BJP MLA Piyush Desai.

Raising the demand, around 24,000 voters from the villages had also called to boycott the upcoming state Assembly elections. They had put up banners announcing the same in the villages.

Following the protests, Navsari BJP president Bhuralal Shah, Navsari BJP candidate Rakesh Desai and local leaders met the villagers on November 18. The sarpanch and deputy sarpanch along with regular passengers of the trains were also present in the meeting where the villagers stood firm on boycotting the elections. Election officials also reached the village to convince the voters but in vain.

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After the talks failed, BJP leaders made a representation to the ministers and on November 28, the Western Railway issued a notification approving the demand of the villagers.

As per a press release from Western Railway chief Public Relations Officer Sumit Thakur, the additional stoppage was allowed at Ancheli station for train No. 19101/19102 Virar – Bharuch Express and Train No. 19001/19002 Virar – Surat Express on experimental basis for six months.

Train No. 19101 Virar – Bharuch Express that has been provided with an additional halt at Ancheli station for its journey commencing November 29, 2022, will arrive at Ancheli at 7.48 am and depart at 7.49 am. Train No. 19102 Surat – Bharuch Express will arrive at Ancheli at 5.36 pm and depart at 5.37 pm. Train No. 19001 Virar – Surat Express will arrive at Ancheli at 9.41 pm and depart at 9.42 pm. Train No. 19002 Surat – Virar Express will arrive at Ancheli at 5.18 am and depart at 5.19 am.

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Officials have to maintain a record of ticket sales and submit it to the Western Railway before April 30, 2023.

Sources said that before the Covid pandemic, the trains used to stop at Ancheli railway station but the stoppage was cancelled after Covid. Ancheli falls between Amalsad and Vedchha railway stations.

Over a thousand people as well as students from the villages travel daily to their work places in Surat and Valsad by these trains.

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Talking to The Indian Express, Ancheli resident Hitesh Patel said, “We are happy that our protests have turned fruitful… They have announced that the trains would stop for six months, but we want it permanently. Our village has around 1,300 voters… Earlier regular commuters had to spend a lot of money for their journey… now they can save time and money.”

Navsari BJP president Bhuralal Shah said, “Regular commuters were facing troubles… The decision was taken keeping mind the convenience of people, including students.”

First published on: 29-11-2022 at 23:42 IST
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