Paradip: A day after the locals obstructed trial run of a goods train on Haridaspur-Paradip railway line, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) on Saturday appealed to allow the exercise so that the newly laid tracks can be tested for running passenger trains.
Trial run of goods trains is a pre-step that will lead to introduction of passenger trains, the ECoR said in a release. “Obstructing the goods train as happened yesterday will upset the whole process of making this line fit for passenger trains in future,” it added.
On Friday, the local people staged a dharna on train tracks at Nuagaon railway station in Kendrapada district during the trial run of a goods train carrying coal from Paradip port demanding introduction of passenger train services on the route.
The ECoR said for running passenger trains, many safety works and passenger facilities are essential. “ECoR appreciates the aspirations of the people of the area for having passenger train services. But the trial runs of goods trains are necessary for the line to settle for safe train running. Therefore, ECoR appeals to you to allow these goods train to run so that the line can be made fit for running passenger trains in the near future,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, Mahakalpada MLA Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak has joined the agitation against the trial runs of goods trains, according to media reports.
“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, peoples’ representatives and the people of Kendrapada have contributed to this railway project. Our demand is for running passenger trains. Goods trains will not resolve the problems of the people,” Nayak said.
It may be noted that chief minister Naveen Patnaik in a letter on July 28 had sought the intervention of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal for running passenger trains on the route.
Stating that arrangements are in the final stage to commission the railway line in August, Naveen said the 82-km railway line will connect Kendrapada district to the railway map for the first time.