Bengal jute mill workers throw train services off track

Kolkata, Jan 27: Suburban and long-distance train services of Eastern Railway’s Sealdah division were thrown haywire for 11 hours Monday after workers of a closed jute mill squatted on the rail tracks to demand its reopening.

The obstruction that began after 8 a.m. continued through the day at Titagarh station, said an Eastern Railway media release.

The obstruction by workers of the Loomtex jute mill and trade union representatives was finally withdrawn after 7 p.m.

“Train services throughout the day were affected badly in Dum Dum junction-Naihati main line section. Thirty-one pairs of EMU locals had to be cancelled and four pairs of MEMU locals had to be either cancelled or short terminated, and 20 other EMU locals were detained en route,” said the release.

Four long-distance trains – including the Sealdah-Jaynagar Gangasagar Express, Teesta Torsa Express and Sealdah-Ballia Express – were diverted. Three other long-distance trains were detained en route.

The Asansol-Sealdah Intercity Express was short terminated at Bandel and originated from there.

The blockade was finally lifted after the Railway Protection Force, Government Railway Police and local civil officials managed to persuade the agitators that all efforts would be made to reopen the mill.

Labour Minister Purnendu Bose said a tripartite meeting will be held Feb 6 in a bid to reopen the closed mill. He, however, decried the way train movement was disrupted throughout the day.

IANS