Railway Board President VK Yadav said on Friday that the Punjab government has failed to evacuate railway tracks at all places in the state and it is yet to be evacuated at 22 places. Along with this, he said that 100 percent security clearance is required from the state government for restoration of train services in the state. Yadav said that partial restoration of train services is not possible and that all obstructions (from the rail tracks) must be removed. A day before this, Yadav told the press that the state government has assured to clear all the rail tracks by Friday morning.
Farmers’ organizations started demonstrations on railway tracks and station premises against the recently passed agricultural laws and due to this, rail services in the state have been suspended since September 24. The Chairman of the Railway Board said that the Railways would not run select trains but would restore all services.
“There is still a blockade at 22 places in the state,” he said. There was a meeting between the Railway Protection Force and the State Police in Chandigarh yesterday and we have made them aware that they should give us security clearance for all the trains so that we can start operating them at once. “Yadav said,” We will not start select train services, be it freight trains or passenger trains. We have told them that we need 100% security clearance from the trains to operate them.
Sources said that during the meeting with the state government officials, there was an indication that the state government wants to resume the operation of goods trains but not passenger trains. He said that a proposal was also received from the state government to transport a few selected items for a few days, which the railways refused.
Sources said that the railways have told the state government that their proposal is not viable. “Passenger trains are booked and it is sad that we are canceling trains every day during festival time,” Yadav said in a press conference on Friday. “I have full faith in the state government that some Time will be lifted and we will not have to cancel the trains scheduled for tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Director General of Railway Protection Force Arun Kumar said that at some places the protesters have been removed from the tracks and they have regrouped. He said that the concern is that they do not block the rail tracks again.