| Devotees continue to walk on railway tracks beside the gutted Rajya Rani Express near the Dhamara Ghat station on Tuesday. Picture by Nantu Dey |
Dhamara (Khagaria), Aug. 20: Train movement on the Saharsa-Patna route resumed today, almost 16 hours after the Rajya Rani track terror at Dhamara Ghat station.
Since there is no road route between Kopadia and Badala Ghat railway stations, a distance of about 13km, the railway movement was necessary. It is the only means of communication and considered the lifeline for lakhs of villagers.
Railway services resumed at 12.55am today after it was stopped soon after the express hit the passengers at 8.40am yesterday. Since protesters had destroyed railway property worth crores at the Dhamara Ghat station, it was difficult to resume the service.
The railway administration has roughly estimated a loss of about Rs 9 crore, as people uprooted properties on the station premises and torched two trains, including the Rajya Rani Express and Saharsa-Samastipur Passenger.
Divisional railway manager of Samastipur Arun Malik told The Telegraph: “We have resumed the train movement today. The burnt trains were pulled out of the station. We have roughly estimated a loss of Rs 8-9 crore after people torched two trains and vandalised offices at the station.”
The East Central Railway today in a press note stated “residents have done considerable damage to two trains and Dhamara Ghat station”.
“The panel and the signalling system have been completely damaged because of which train movement had to be stopped. The railways is trying to normalise train movement on the Saharsa-Mansi route. It will take four to five days to restore the damaged systems. However, we have resumed the movement of trains using an alternative signalling pattern,” the railways stated in the release.
Even the Rajya Rani Express, which was vandalised after it mowed down 28 people yesterday, will be resumed from Patna tomorrow. Malik said: “We have set-up four teams which would visit the victims’ villages and verify the credentials of the 28 deceased and their kin. The teams would disburse the Rs 5-lakh compensation to the relatives of the dead. Each team comprises three officers and a police inspector led by a senior officer of the railways. Since the compensation is huge, we strive to identify the victim’s family. We want to ensure that the compensation reaches the right person.”
He added that loco pilot Raja Ram Paswan and his assistant S.K. Suman, who were brutally beaten up by the mob, are recovering well.