With passengers flustered due to repeated cancellation of trains and huge delays in those plying, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention for smooth operations of train services in the state.
The railways has cancelled over a dozen trains, mainly those connecting the interior parts of the state between August 6 and 10 and many long-distance and local trains are running 2-6 hours late.
Train cancellations and delays have been a major issue in the tribal state where trains are the only mode of affordable transport. During the past several months, lots of trains originating from or passing through the state have been cancelled and Baghel has repeatedly taken up the issue with authorities.
Speaking to the media about his letter to PM, Baghel said that while on one hand, prime minister is inaugurating new Vande Bharat trains across the country, on the other, existing train services are getting cancelled in Chhattisgarh. He said that the people of the state were facing a lot of troubles as they were not able to get the benefit of even the available services, which also are inadequate. “At least the available trains should run, they should run on schedule, and stop at designated stations. I have written to the PM to ensure these facilities,” he said.
In his letter, Baghel said that the railways issues a notification for cancellation of a large number of passenger trains at any time, without any prior information, and the passengers are not informed about how long the services will remain cancelled. Also, rail passengers are facing major inconvenience due to the excessive delay of running trains. “In the past, on many occasions, I have drawn the railway minister's attention towards the issue and requested to ensure smooth operation of passenger trains, but there is no improvement in the situation,” Baghel said.
The CM further mentioned in the letter that the irregularity in the operation of the trains disrupts many pre-scheduled tasks of students, pilgrims, patients, people coming to the state for employment, businessmen, labourers, and those appearing for different recruitment/admission tests. “Gradually, the adverse effect of this irregular and unsystematic operation of trains is becoming more and more visible on the economy of the state. People are disappointed, upset and annoyed, because of the frequent cancellation and delay of trains for a long period of time. They are losing confidence in the government and questioning the management of railways,” Baghel’s letter said.
He also said that due to the geographical conditions of the state, the density of trains in Chhattisgarh is much less than the national average and the passenger trains are the only accessible mode of transport for people living in remote areas. “Keeping in view the seriousness of the situation, you are requested to instruct the Ministry of Railways to ensure smooth operation of the passenger trains in the state so as to bring relief to the people,” Baghel requested PM Modi.