Train operations in Punjab normalised expect 32 km stretch: Chairman


New Delhi, Dec 1 | Train services in Punjab, which were suspended for almost two months due to the agitation against the three farm laws, have normalised except for a 32 km stretch near Amritsar, Chairman of the Railway Board, V.K. Yadav, said on Tuesday.

Train operations in Punjab were severely affected for almost two months after farmers protesting against the three farm laws sat on railway tracks and station premises, refusing to let trains ply from September 24 onwards.

“We have had no issues in running trains in Punjab since November 23 except between Beas and Amritsar where some protesters are still camping. But an alternative route is available and the trains to Amritsar are being diverted through that route. However, we had to cancel some trains on that route as the earlier route was double line while the diverted route is single line,” Yadav said at a virtual press conference.

He also said that between November 23 and November 30, 94 passenger trains have entered Punjab, while 78 have exited the state. While 384 loaded and 273 empty freight trains entered the state, 373 loaded and 221 empty freight trains exited the state.

Out of the 384 loaded freight trains that entered the state, 155 carried coal, 58 carried fertilisers, 25 carried steel, and 32 carried petroleum, oil and lubricants, among others.

Of the 373 loaded trains that exited Punjab, 245 trains carried foodgrains to other parts of the country.

The Railways had earlier said that the suspension of services led to losses to the tune of Rs 2,220 crore.

The government on Tuesday is holding talks with the farmer leaders to end the empasse over the controversial farm laws, as a meeting got underway between Union ministers and representatives of over 30 farmers’ organisations.

For the meeting at Vigyan Bhawan here, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was accompanied by Railways and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash, also an MP from Punjab.

The farmers have been protesting at several places on the Delhi-Haryana and Delhi-Uttar Pradesh borders opposing the three farm laws, demanding they be repealed.

Source: IANS

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