BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Government Railway Police (GRP) on Sunday arrested at least 51 persons for torching a coach of Puri-Barbil/Paradip Express, Friday’s mob fury at Delang Railway Station has cost the Railways a staggering Rs 2.5 crore or even more.
All the arrested persons belonged to Sanagualipur village of Delang. SP of Railways Sanjay Kaushal said they will be produced before the court after verification of their involvement in the incident. Charges under Indian Penal Code (IPC) for destruction of public property, rioting and arson will be pressed against them. Provisions under the Railway Act will also be slapped, he added.
On Friday, the mob had gone berserk after the death of a youth who had fallen off a train the previous evening. The locals were demanding stoppage of the Puri-Barbil/Keonjhar Express at Delang.
Sources said the rioting and arson have put a huge cost on the ECoR property which is still being assessed. While a coach costs more than Rs 1.25 crore, the mob also damaged the station master’s cabin, reservation room, while the signalling and communication equipment were laid to waste. The route line interlocking system suffered serious damage. The incident may have inflicted a direct loss of over Rs 2.5 crore on the Railways.
“The Railways must make public the loss suffered by such incidents since these are public property and affects large sections of the society. Eventually, people pay for it through taxes,” said a senior government officer.
Direct losses apart, the consequential losses are even more. Sources pointed out that since a number of trains were controlled, short-terminated and cancelled because of the incident, there was a serious disruption of train traffic. As a result, affected passengers may also file claims.
“There is a need to send out a strong message that railway property cannot be destroyed and Odisha Police must take stern action against those who vandalised the property to ensure that,” said an officer.