Madanpur, Aug. 22: Dhaka bound Maitree express had to be stranded for about three and half hours at Kalyani station on Tuesday morning as train services in the Sealdah North section remained suspended for over four hours due to a blockade on railway tracks put by a section of daily passengers at Madanpur station in Nadia.
Angry passengers staged demonstrations on the track while demanding the withdrawal of MEMUcoaches during rush hours of the morning due to its narrow entrance, as well as for the conversion of all 9 coaches EMU rakes into 12 coaches and stoppage of all galloping trains at Madanpur station.
The blockade that started at 7.30 am, a little ahead of Madanpur rail gate when Sealdah bound Ranaghat local with Memu rakes was stopped. The blockade continued for over four hours putting the train services under suspension till 11.40 am in Sealdah-Krishnagar, Sealdah-Lalgola, Sealdah-Santipur, and Sealdah-Gede stretch until RPF and GRP officials gave the agitating passengers a written assurance to take up their grievances with the Eastern Railways authorities.
As a result of the blockade, the Kolkata-Dhaka Maitree Express had to take an unscheduled halt at the Kalyani station, where it was stranded for over three hours. Berhampore-bound Hazarduari Express also had to take an unscheduled stop at the Kalyani station, while several trains were stranded at many other platforms causing sheer trouble for the passengers.
“We are sorry for the trouble passengers suffered today. But, we have been suffering more difficulties due to the illogical operations of trains. There is a long gap in the availability of trains at Madanpur in the morning causing a heavy rush. But, unfortunately, ER authorities ran a Memu rake from Ranaghat after the gap forcing passengers to jostle to get into trains due to its narrow entrance. This has repeatedly happened despite our appeals to run EMU rakes that have a wider door and spacious inside. But ER authorities never paid any attention that caused the anger today”, said Swapan Debnath, a daily passenger from Madanpur, who joined the blockade.
Daily passengers in Madanpur also demanded stoppage of all galloping trains at the station as well as conversion of 9 coach EMU trains into 12 coach trains for better passenger accommodation during rush hours.
“We withdrew today’s blockade respecting persuasion by the GRP and ROF officials, who assured us to solve the problem by taking up the matter with ER authorities. We will wait up to September 2, and take further steps unless the demands are satisfied”, a daily passenger said.
A spokesperson of Eastern Railways said, “The agitators were in no mood to talk, rather prolonged the troubles for the passengers. However the matter will be discussed at the DRM level”.