The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bengal rail workers to Bihar rescue

Gaya, Sept. 10: A team from Bengal is now overseeing the repair of tracks and hauling up of the train from Dhawa river at Rafiganj, the site of eastern India’s worst Rajdhani mishap, in Bihar.

Railway officials of the two states, bitterly divided till recently over the bifurcation of railway zones, seem to have risen above petty differences and come together to retrieve the situation and ensure normality of movement of trains as soon as possible.

The team, comprising 120 gangmen from Bolpur, Burdwan, Bandel, Howrah and Pandua, led by a few engineers, arrived at the mishap site on the special train that carried relatives of the passengers in the 2301up Rajdhani Express, which had left Howrah last evening.

“The fact that gangmen from Bengal have to be requisitioned to do work that falls within the jurisdiction of another division which lies in another state shows that there are not enough men to do the work,” Bideshi Mahato from Bolpur said.

“When I first got the message around 5 am, I asked my superiors why we had to go from Bengal,” he said. “The answer we received, though flattering (they said our experience could not be substituted), pointed to a deficiency of good gangmen in the Mughal Sarai division,” he reasoned, adding that the number of gangmen had come down from 22 lakh to 10 lakh over the past few years, the result of — Mahato said — retrenchments.

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