Train services were hit badly and commuters left stranded for hours at various platform of Ludhiana railway station on the second day of the two-day nationwide strike called by trade unions against the rise in prices of essential commodities and the economic policies of the Union government.
Most of the trains were stopped near Doraha and Gyaspura by protesters of various trade unions on Thursday affecting arrival and departure of many trains to Ludhiana. As a result, Shan-e-Punjab Express - Amritsar to New Delhi - and a passengers train were terminated at Khanna and Doraha, respectively; whereas Amritsar - New Delhi Shatabdi Express arrived here two and a half hour late leaving passengers high and dry, said Ludhiana station superintendent Ravinder Sharma.
Several other trains including Malwa Express and Dadar Express to Amritsar were reported running late by over three hours, while Swaraj express to Amritsar and Dibrugarh Express were running behind a couple of hour.
However, some other trains were diverted from their main route included Paschim Express and Pathankot-Delhi Express to Amritsar were diverted via Dhuri and Jakhal towards Ambala, said Sharma, adding that Shatabdi was stranded at Dhandari Kalan for two and an half hour and Malwa Express at Sahnewal.
Passengers were forced to hire taxi to reach their destination. “I'm on way to Delhi to meet my brother who had have a heart attack, but I'm stuck in the protest. Now I'll hire a taxi to reach Delhi”, said one of the passengers Raman Sinha stuck at Gyaspura Chowk.
“We have diverted trains via different routes, including three trains from Amritsar - Saryu Yamuna Express, Shaheed Express and Tata Amritsar (Jalianwala) Express - left the city after 3pm when the protesters started diminishing,” said the station superintendent, adding that the rail traffic was restored around 3pm providing some respite to the stranded commuters.
He said railways suffered an loss of lakhs of rupees due to cancellation of ticket at the Ludhiana station.