Commuters agitate, block trains over incorrect announcement
Kolkata: Angry passengers put up a rail blockade at the Sodepur station in North 24 Parganas during the peak hours on Saturday morning and vandalised the station master’s office, alleging wrong announcement of trains. Twenty EMU locals were cancelled due to the disruption.
According to the passengers, the announcement of arrival of Dn Ranaghat Local was made through the public address system after it left the station. Agitated passengers jumped down to the tracks, blocking train movements. Some of them attacked the station master’s office and went on a rampage. The railway protection force and government railway police personnel tried to control the mob but in vain.
According to the eastern railway (ER), train services were disrupted on Sealdah main line section due to the rail blockade which started at 9.46 am till 12.30 pm on Saturday “against late running of trains”.
In a statement, the ER said, “It is stated that trains were running late due to ongoing non-interlocking work for commissioning of automatic signalling system between Barrackpur and Ichapur. It was communicated well in advance to all newspapers and audio-visual media for passengers’ information.”
“The obstructers pelted stones at the station master’s office and damaged office furniture. Normal train services were resumed on the Sealdah-Ranaghat section when the obstruction at Sodepur station was lifted at 12.30 pm. As a result of the obstruction, 3 up and 21 down EMU trains had to be halted en route for two-and-a-half hour each on an average,” it elaborated.
“Twenty EMU locals had to be cancelled. One Express and three passenger trains were also halted for two hours each on average. As a result of the obstruction during the peak hours, hundreds of passengers were stranded and had to suffer. Railway administration urges commuters not to obstruct train services as it creates problems for other passengers travelling out of stations on various assignments.”