At least seven trains passing through Bhopal railway station have been cancelled due to the Jat agitation over demands of inclusion into the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in Haryana, causing trouble for passengers from Bhopal.
The agitation has delayed frequencies of trains towards northern railways division. As a result, seven trains passing through Bhopal junction have been cancelled. Jhelum Express, Andaman Express, Pathankot Express and Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express were cancelled on February 20, while Malwa Express have been cancelled on February 20 and 21. Sachkhand Express and 11058 Pathankot Express have been cancelled on February 21. All the trains have been cancelled from their origin stations.
Earlier on Friday, 12137, Mumbai CST- Ferozpur, Punjab Mail, 12138, Ferozpur-Mumbai CST, Punjab Mail and 12486 Shriganganagar- Nanded Express were cancelled due to protests by the community.
The cancellations have hugely affected passengers from Bhopal as many of them are not able to travel to north Indian stations like Delhi and Amritsar.
“I was not aware that my train has been cancelled. I had my reservation in Sachkhand Express till New Delhi station. I was supposed to attend a friend’s wedding, which now seems impossible. I reached Bhopal station to board my train today and was informed by railways personnel that the train has been cancelled,” said 25-year old Saurabh Pant.
The sudden cancellations also forced many passengers to travel by air.
“I had my reservation in Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express. I had to attend a meeting with my business clients in Chandigarh. But now, I had to book flight tickets on emergency, which has burnt a hole in my pocket,” said 42-year-old businessman Pradeep Kumar.
Railway officials of west central railway (WCR), Bhopal, said the trains were cancelled to ensure safety of passengers amidst the agitation.
“The railways have cancelled the trains to ensure the safety of the passengers which is our utmost priority. We understand that the cancellations have caused trouble to passengers but their safety is more important,” said IA Siddqui, public relation officer, West Central Railway.]
The cancelled trains are 11078, Jammu Tawi-Pune, Jhelum Express, 16032, New Delhi-Chennai, Andaman Express, 11057, Mumbai CST-Amritsar, Pathankot Express, 22685, Yashvantpur-Chandigarh, Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express, 12920, Jammutavi- Indore, Malwa Express, 12716, Amritsar- Hazur Sahib Nanded, Sachkhand Express and 11058, Amritsar- Mumbai CST, Pathankot Express.