JHARSUGUDA: On Thursday, more than 1500 protestors picketed on the Howrah-Mumbai railway line passing through Brajrajnagar for about 14 hours demanding the resumption of stoppage of superfast and express trains at Brajrajnagar railway station. Many trains on the route were delayed due to the blockade.
Led by Brajrajnagar Citizen Committee and supported by clubs, civil groups, and members of political parties, the protest continued from 6 am till 8 pm. As a mark of solidarity, under the aegis of Brajrajnagar Merchant Association, all commercial establishments in the town downed shutters.
The protestors said after Covid outbreak in 2020, the stoppage of many superfast and express trains at Brajrajnagar station was cancelled by railway authorities. “Even when things have normalised the trains continue to pass by without stopping at Jharsuguda station inconveniencing a large population,” they alleged. Earlier, a meeting was also held between Railways, administrative officers, and members of the Brajrajnagar Citizen Committee to resume stoppage but to no avail, the added.
A battalion of Railway Police Force and another contingent of local police were deployed at the stations but the protesters did not relent. SDPO Gupteshwar Bhoi, DSP Baikunth Seth, and senior DCM Vipul Suskar spoke to the protestors for a dialogue. Jharsuguda Collector Saroj Kumar Samal and SP Rahul Jain too reached out to South-east Central Railway Bilaspur Division DRM to solve the issue. Around 6 pm, the DRM verbally assured protestors to look into their demands following which the tracks were freed.
By 6 pm, 17 protestors were detained. Though trains have resumed, Railway officials refused to comment on the matter. Among those who participated in the protest were former Brajrajnagar MLA Radharani Panda, Brajrajnagar municipality chairperson Jagyasini Oram, Congress Town President Pramod Panda, former municipality chairman NK Agarwal, and Brajrajnagar Coal Mines Workers Union general secretary Anit Chakraborty.
Bilaspur-bound Azad Hind Express at Ib station
Howrah-Ahmedabad Express at Jharsuguda
Ahmedabad-Howrah Express at Belpahar
South Bihar Express
Tata Itawari Passenger