Railways inspects tracks in Punjab as services resume today
Rail officials began inspecting rail tracks in Punjab on Sunday after farmer groups agreed to suspend their Rail Roko protests against the Center’s new agricultural laws.
According to officials familiar with the matter, it is likely that freight trains will be prioritized and operations will resume Monday night. Passenger trains will likely start from Tuesday, authorities said.
Ambala Divisional Rail Manager (DRM) GM Singh said the rail board will release a detailed train schedule on Monday. “After nearly two months of railway blockade in Punjab, today (Sunday) a joint team of the Punjab government government railway police, the railway protection force and technical teams began a track safety audit. They are examining to make sure the tracks have no damage. Light motors are also placed on the tracks to measure the resistance of rail lines in the state, ”Singh said.
The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee had begun its rail blockade on September 24 to oppose central farm laws and several farmers’ unions later extended their support for the unrest.
Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some 2,300 passenger trains were canceled or diverted amid the protest.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Amarinder Singh announced that the leaders of 31 farmers’ unions had unanimously decided to suspend the blockade.
According to Ferozepur DRM Rajesh Agarwal, officials from the department of railways have started issuing safety clearance reports for the resumption of services. “These reports contain inspection details confirming that there are no protesters seated in the vicinity of the tracks, at the station premises, or near railroad property in the entire state. Once the necessary safety and security protocols are completed, the railways can restore services in less than 24 hours, ”he said.