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Rail Minister Seeks Punjab Govt’s Assurance of Train, Crew Members’ Safety to Restore Freight Services

File photograph of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal

However, the Railways determined to increase its suspension of products practice operations within the state, saying protesting farmers are nonetheless blocking the tracks

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: October 26, 2020, 23:04 IST
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Amid protests by farmers on rail tracks towards the Centre’s new farm legal guidelines, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday sought the Punjab authorities’s assurance of the protection of trains and their crew members to revive freight providers, hours after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh requested him to intervene in resuming the identical. Goods practice providers resumed within the state after farmer unions on October 21 introduced exempting them from their weeks-old “rail roko” agitation over the farm legal guidelines.

However, the Railways determined to increase its suspension of products practice operations within the state, saying protesting farmers are nonetheless blocking the tracks. In a letter on Monday, Goyal stated sporadic obstruction of tracks was persevering with at many locations, particularly round Amritsar and out of doors the facility vegetation at Naba and Talwandi Saboo, and likewise outdoors the Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) silo at Moga.

“Petroleum and container rakes are not being allowed. Railway drivers need to have confidence and security to operate freely. Indian Railways started freight trains and started moving empty coaching rakes to maintenance depots for maintenance on October 22 and 23 after an assurance was given by the local police that dharna has been lifted,” he stated. Goyal stated greater than 200 rakes have been stabled within the system together with round 100 coal and 50 fertiliser rakes, and several other necessary exim containers.

“Around 20 empty rakes are in Naba and Talwandi. We are not able to draw them out. To commence freight services we need total free run and not with conditions and stipulations which cannot be complied with. There is also a threat to resume ‘rail roko’ from November 5. This is creating uncertainty about resumption of freight services,” he stated. The rail minister additional stated a number of the freight trains and empty teaching rakes have been obstructed once more on October 23 after which railway drivers and guards refused to function trains in Punjab until they’re assured that trains is not going to be obstructed.

“They are apprehensive that there may be some incidents of run over people obstructing the trains. They are asking for assurance from the state government that all train movements (freight and passenger) will be allowed without any obstruction and necessary security will be provided by the state,” Goyal stated. Farmer our bodies in Punjab had determined to ease their ‘rail roko’ agitation, permitting the motion of products trains conserving in thoughts the scarcity of coal and diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser. Several trade our bodies had additionally complained about not receiving their inputs because of the agitation.

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