Residents and shopkeepers from localities around the Chheharta railway station on Sunday staged a dharna on rail tracks after the railways authorities and the district administration failed to pay heed to their demands of stopping loading and unloading of trucks at the station.
The dharna delayed the departure of the Amritsar-Attari train from Chheharta by about an hour, with the train remaining stranded there from 8am to 9am. After the dharna was lifted, the train continued its journey to Attari. There were not many passengers on board the train.
Suresh Kumar Sharma, a local RTI activist and president of Chheharta Bazaar Committee, said the dust generated due to the movement of trucks leads to pollution and has become a health hazard to residents who are complaining of asthma and other respiratory problems.
He said they had given a memorandum of demands to the railway authorities and district administration on September 20, but nothing was done in this connection. “We’ll now stop the New Delhi--Attari Special (Samjautha Express) that carries passengers going to Lahore”, he warned.
The protesters included were from Azad Road, Subhash Road and other areas near the railway station in the Amritsar-Attari section. This station is primarily used for the loading of foodgrain in railway wagons. The trucks bring the bags of foodgrain from the godowns and unload these at the goods yard.
The movement of trucks generates a lot of dust as the approach road to the yard is in a bad shape. The flooring of the open yard is unpaved.