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Nearly five months after the tracks were completely closed to rail traffic, the Dhanbad-Chandrapura line was partially opened for passenger trains on Friday, bringing relief to the local population. The nearly 42-km line was closed on June 15 after it was found that the stretch had become dangerous for rail movement, owing to underground coal fire in Dhanbad.
Local residents had protested when the rail movement came to a halt. They had also requested authorities to make alternative arrangements.
Railway officials said the matter was reviewed at the top level and it was subsequently decided that some passenger trains could be allowed to run from both ends, stopping short of the dangerous stretch.
“Today, from Chandrapura, we allowed Jhargram passenger train to ply till Phulari Tand, a distance of around 16 km. Then, it went back to Chandrapura. Earlier, this train would go up to Dhanbad. After June 15, it used to terminate at Chandrapura. Similarly, from Dhanbad side, we allowed Bankura passenger train to go till Kusunda (about 6-7 km from Dhanbad) and back,” said Divisional Railway Manager M K Akhouri.
However, officials said, there were no plans to allow movement of express and mail trains. “The services were restored partially to provide maximum possible relief to the local population. We will keep a watch on the rail movement and keep reviewing it,” said Akhouri.