Bandh paralyses train services in Bihar, Jharkhand | india | Hindustan Times
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Bandh paralyses train services in Bihar, Jharkhand

The 48-hour economic blockade call given by the CPI (Maoists) has not only hit the railway operations, but also affected its revenue collection, reports Vijay Swaroop.

india Updated: Jun 27, 2007 23:26 IST
Vijay Swaroop

The 48-hour economic blockade call given by the CPI (Maoists), not only hit the railway operations, but also affected its revenue collection.

According to a conservative estimate, the loss to the East Central Railway (ECR), Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway was more than Rs 7 crore. "The loss to ECR alone was somewhere between Rs 3.5 crore to Rs 4 crore," said chief public relation officer (CPRO), ECR, AK Chandra.

The loss includes refund of money due to cancellation/ short termination or change of route of trains; damage to stations and tracks. According to sources, the three divisions of the ECR affected most by the CPI (Maoist) bandh call --- Danapur, Mughalsarai and Dhanbad --- Danapur alone has a passenger volume of over 50,000 passengers per day, out of which nearly 10,000 travel on Patna-Gaya section. As per the official figures, 55,354 passengers travelled from Patna on June 26, the first day of Maoist bandh call.

Even though the railways made elaborate arrangements and suspended train operations during night on certain sections only, most of the passenger travelling from Patna on Gaya route, Mughalsharai-Dhanbad route, Ranchi, preferred to return their tickets.

Though the bandh call was only for 48 hours, the Railways, as a precautionary measure, had to cancel the train operation in several sections of the three zones affected most by the bandh call, for three days, from June 25 to June 27. The ECR cancelled eight pairs of trains, while eight other pairs of trains were cancelled from Howrah and Ranchi. Besides, 20 pairs of goods trains were also cancelled on account of bandh.

The ECR officials said that in addition to monetary loss, the whole system gets affected and it takes almost a week to restore normalcy and prepare tracks. “AT times it also affects the punctuality of trains as well,” said a senior ECR officer.