Dera Sacha Sauda violence aftermath: Railways’ loss estimate at Rs 75 crore and counting
The Ambala division that looks after operations in Haryana, Chandigarh and Malwa region of Punjab, was the worst-hit.punjab Updated: Sep 09, 2017 11:44 IST
The estimated losses of Northern Railways due to the late August violence in the aftermath of Dera Sacha Sauda head’s rape trial and conviction have crossed Rs 75, officials said on Friday.
These are losses suffered by its Ambala and Ferozepur divisions, and it may get to Rs 100 crore as losses from others affected divisions, including Delhi and Rajasthan’s Jaipur area, where trains were also cancelled ahead of the dera chief’s sentencing, are being calculated. Over 1,000 trains were cancelled in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and parts of Rajasthan after the CBI court here in Panchkula convicted dera chief in rape case on August 25. Normalcy only returned a day after the dera chief was sent to 20 years of imprisonment on August 28.
The Ambala division that looks after operations in Haryana, Chandigarh and Malwa region of Punjab, was the worst-hit. Its divisional manager Dinesh Kumar told HT that their 300 passenger trains remained off tracks for three days between August 26 and 28, besides loss of properties after their two stations, in Gidderbaha and Malout of Punjab, were vandalised by mobs after the dera head’s conviction. Besides, earnings from freight load also suffered drastically during these days, officials told HT. Dinesh Kumar said they have submitted their losses to the railway board so that they can pursue the matter with the Haryana government to reclaim the losses as assured by the state.
There is no clarity as to how the state will pay for the losses incurred by different agencies.
Ferozepur divisional railways manager Vivek Kumar told HT that there was no report of loss of property in their division that is spread over Punjab’s Doaba and Majha areas. But they could not operate passenger trains for two-three days, resulting in to loss of nearly 34 crore. “Our division has recently submitted the details to the headquarters in Delhi,” he said.
Northern Railways chief public relations officer Neeraj Sharma said the railway board is in the process of compiling losses of all affected divisions after which it will be filed to the Haryana government for compensation.
But there is no clarity as to how the state will pay for the losses incurred by different agencies. Panchkula, where violence claimed at least 35 lives during clashes between dera followers and security forces, alone suffered losses of Rs 10 crore in properties.
Whether the losses are to be recovered by selling properties of the dera is to be decided by the Punjab and Haryana high court, said an official.