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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Punjab: Services resume, but some trains diverted, few others to stay suspended

On Tuesday, three trains, including Sachkhand Express and Paschim Express, reached Amritsar after being diverted via Tarn Taran making them skip the Jandiala Guru blockade. They will restart their journey back from Amritsar on Wednesday.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba , Raakhi Jagga | Jalandhar, Ludhiana | Updated: November 25, 2020 11:07:42 am
A woman gets ready to deboard as Malwa Express arrives at Ludhiana railway station on Tuesday. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)

Despite the Railways resuming passengers and freight train services to Punjab, five passenger trains to the state have been cancelled from Wednesday, while nine trains on Amritsar route will be diverted due to blockade of main line at Jandiala Guru by the Kisan Mazdoor Sangrash Committee (KMSC). Further, seven trains continue to be short terminated and will remain partially cancelled.

On Tuesday, three trains, including Sachkhand Express and Paschim Express, reached Amritsar after being diverted via Tarn Taran making them skip the Jandiala Guru blockade. They will restart their journey back from Amritsar on Wednesday.

While three other trains including Golden Temple Mail, Saryu-Yamuna Express, Shaheed Express and Amritsar- Bandra Terminus will also be run by the Railway on the diverted route, three others — Amritsar-Haridwar Jan Shatabdi, Amritsar-Saharsa Janseva Express, and Amritsar-New Delhi Jan Shatabadi — will remain suspended till the time main line via Jandiala is not opened.

DRM Ferozepur Rajesh Aggarwal said that due to blockade at Jandiala Guru, trains are being diverted on the single line section via Tarn Taran and the speed on this line cannot be enhanced beyond 50 km per hour because of which all the trains cannot be run on a single line route.

Additional DRM (Ferozepur) V P Singh said: “As KMSC is still on dharna at Jandiala Guru, it does not seem to be possible to run trains on this route.”

Industry urges smooth running of trains

Meanwhile, Punjab industry on Tuesday appealed to Centre as well as state government that train services should not be disrupted because of one union. Badish Jindal, representing the Small Industries Association of Punjab, said, “We have supported farmers wholeheartedly since the beginning, and they must also support us as agriculture as well as industry both are needed for an economy to run in a smooth manner.”

K K Garg, president, Induction Furnace Association of North India, accompanied by industrialists Harish Dua, Harish Singla, Dev Gupta and Kulwant Singh said that they were relieved that train services had resumed finally. “We will get raw material and boost production,” said Garg. He added that services should continue further without any interruption. He said that trains have just resumed and the prices of steel, scrap and other raw materials have already started dropping, which is a big relief to the industries.

Relief to potato farmers

The resumption of the freight trains has brought a big relief to the Potato growers, Basmati exporters and wheat farmers of the state as suspension of services had led to accumulation of the Basmati at Ludhiana and now there would not be any shortage of the urea for their crops.

The farmers were facing problems in getting the urea and were concerned about the growth of potato and wheat crop.

A farmer, Satnam Singh of Hardo Pharala, said that there was an immediate need of urea’s second dose to his crops, but he was not receiving the fertiliser from the market according to his requirement. He said that now the operation of goods trains would ensure the availability of the urea in the market and there would not be any loss of crop’s yield.

Farmer Jagjeet Singh from Lallian Kalan, who sows potatoes of 50 acres, said that he along with other farmers was visiting the market regularly to procure the urea, but to no avail.

Basmati exporters said that they were facing huge uncertainty because their older orders got delayed and their payments were also stuck due suspension of the trains. Now they will focus to dispatch the orders as soon as possible, said Ashok Sethi, a leading exporters and the director of Punjab Rice Millers and Exporters Association.

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