Farmers’ rail roko delays 26 trains passing through Ludhiana

A passenger train, plying between Ludhiana and Hisar, was also cancelled during the rail roko organised by farmers on Monday.
Farmers blocking the tracks during rail roko against the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, in Ludhiana on Monday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Farmers blocking the tracks during rail roko against the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, in Ludhiana on Monday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Published on Oct 19, 2021 01:24 AM IST
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ByNikhil Sharma, Ludhiana

As many as 26 trains plying from or through Ludhiana railway station got delayed on Monday due to a six-hour long farmers’ agitation in the state to protest against the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, leaving rail passengers hassled.

A passenger train, plying between Ludhiana and Hisar, was also cancelled. It was to depart from the Ludhiana railway station at 9:30 am. Three trains, including Chandigarh-Firozpur train, which was to depart from Ludhiana at 7 am got stranded at the station as farmers blocked the Firozpur-Ludhiana section at Ajitwal Yard around 5:15 am.

Amritsar-Bandra Paschim Express, which had a scheduled departure at 10:15 am from Ludhiana, had to be halted here along with Firozpur-SAS Nagar express train due to the track blockade.

Other prominent trains which were delayed included the morning and evening New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi, Swaraj Express, Shan-e-Punjab, Malwa Express, Pathankot Delhi Intercity and Amrapali Express.

These trains were rescheduled and plied post 4 pm after the farmers’ protest ended, however, passengers were left fuming.

Updesh Kumar, a resident of Delhi travelling in Paschim Express, said he came to Ludhiana for some work on Sunday and was to return in a day. “I would have reached Delhi around 4 pm. I empathise with the farmers but they should also understand that if they are agitated with the government, they should not make the public suffer for it,” said Kumar.

Sanjay, another passenger, blamed railway officials for not serving food in the train. “Since we are stuck in the trains, railway officials should serve us food,” he said.

Sachin from Rajasthan who was travelling with his kids also expressed his displeasure. “I went to Amritsar to visit the Golden temple and could have reached home today but I am stuck here now. My kids are also getting restless,” said Sachin.

Meanwhile, farmers blocked the railway tracks near Sahnewal and Rajpura following which New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi was halted near Shambu station around 10:07 am.

Some commuters boarded buses from the nearby highway, covering a major distance on foot.

Alok Gupta, a passenger in Shatabdi, accused the railways of mismanagement. “When officials knew about the farmers’ agitation, why didn’t they cancel the trains beforehand? We could have commuted by road and got our skin saved from such harassment,” said Gupta.

Meanwhile, Tarun Kumar, station director, Ludhiana, claimed that the availability of water for the stranded passengers was ensured. He added that trains were not cancelled in advance so as to let the maximum trains to pass.

Railways issued a refund of 18,000 to the passengers whose trains were cancelled, he added.

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Thursday, December 02, 2021