Bengal protests derail train travellers

Passengers wait for trains at Tatanagar station on Saturday.

Railway passengers faced trouble on Saturday as several trains originating from and bound for Howrah had to be cancelled or rescheduled following massive public agitations over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act rocking Bengal, specially at Mourigram and Bankra Nayabaj stations on the Howrah-Kharagpur section.

“My brother had a scheduled meeting at Calcutta this (Saturday) afternoon and had boarded one of the oldest and punctual trains, Tatanagar-Howrah Steel Express, this morning,” said Jamshedpur-based Ashutosh Mishra, whose elder brother is employed with an MNC. “However, the train got delayed by nearly an hour after Kharagpur and eventually was short-terminated at Mecheda. My brother had to board a bus from Mecheda to reach Calcutta and reached the meeting nearly half-an-hour behind schedule. He had to skip his lunch too.”

Mecheda is nearly 67km from Howrah. passengers going towards Calcutta had to board jam-packed long-distance buses from Mecheda.

Several passengers had to reschedule their travel plans after getting to Tatanagar station.

“My daughter who is doing an IT (information technology) course in Pune and had come to attend a wedding in the family was scheduled to go to Pune by the Howrah-Pune Duronto Express,” said Kuldeep Singh, a Jugsalai based trader. “However, after we reached the station at 11.15am we were informed that the train has been cancelled due to the agitation in Bengal. There was no other way and we somehow arranged a plane ticket from Ranchi to Mumbai tomorrow (Sunday) and from Mumbai to Pune by train as my daughter has to join college from Monday at any cost.”

Tatanagar station director H. K Balmuchu said: “There had been massive agitation in Uluberia near Howrah yesterday (Friday) evening and today (Saturday) morning we were informed by the railway headquarters that there were public agitations at Mourigram and Bankra Nayabaj railway stations over non-railway issues. We regret the inconvenience caused to passengers, but we had no option,” said Balmuchu.

He said that apart from cancellation and short-termination/short origination of trains, the Howrah-Ahmedabad train had to be diverted through Chandil, Asansol.

Trains cancelled

Howrah- Digha-Howrah Express, Howrah-Pune Duronto Express, Howrah-Tirupati Humsafar Express, Howrah-Mumbai Gitanjali Express, Howrah-Ernakulam Antyodaya Express, Howrah-MGR Chennai Coromondal Express, Howrah-Yesvantpur Duronto Express, Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express.

Stopped midway

Puri-Howrah Shatabdi Express (short-terminated in Kharagpur), Howrah-Puri Shatabdi Express (short-originated from Kharagpur), Bhubaneswar-Howrah Jan Shatabdi Express (short-terminated at Mecheda), Howrah-Bhubaneswar Jan Shatabdi Express (short-originated from Mecheda), Tatanagar-Howrah Steel Express (short-terminated at Mecheda), Howrah-Tatanagar Steel Express (short-originated from Mecheda), Ranchi-Howrah Intercity Express (short-terminated at Tatanagar), Howrah-Ranchi Intercity (short-originated from Tatanagar)

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