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Rail Minister seeks Punjab govt’s assurance of train, crew members’ safety to restore freight services

New Delhi, October 26

Amid protests by farmers on rail tracks in opposition to the Centre’s new farm legal guidelines, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday sought the Punjab authorities’s assurance of the security of trains and their crew members to revive freight companies, hours after Chief Minister Amarinder Singh requested him to intervene in resuming the identical.

Items prepare companies resumed within the state after farmer unions on October 21 introduced exempting them from their weeks-old “rail roko” agitation over the Centre’s new farm legal guidelines. Nevertheless, the Railways determined to increase its suspension of products prepare operations within the state, saying protesting farmers are nonetheless blocking the tracks.

In a letter on Monday, Goyal stated sporadic obstruction of tracks was nonetheless persevering with at many locations, particularly round Amritsar and outdoors the ability vegetation at Naba and Talwandi Sabo, and in addition exterior the Meals Company of India’s (FCI) silo at Moga.

“Petroleum and container rakes usually are not being allowed. Railway drivers have to have faith and safety to function freely. Indian Railways began freight trains and began transferring empty teaching rakes to upkeep depots for upkeep on October 22 and 23 after an assurance was given by the native police that dharna has been lifted,” he stated.

The rail minister additional stated a few of the freight trains and empty teaching rakes had 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’re apprehensive that there could also be some incidents of run over folks obstructing the trains. They’re asking for assurance from the state authorities that each one prepare actions (freight and passenger) might be allowed with none obstruction and mandatory safety might be offered by the state,” Goyal stated.

Farmer our bodies in Punjab had determined to ease their ‘rail roko’ agitation, permitting the motion of products trains protecting in thoughts the scarcity of coal and diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser.

A number of trade our bodies had additionally complained about not receiving their inputs because of the agitation. — PTI

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