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Station demand holds up trains

Residents on Sunday blocked train movement at Durgapur on the Katihar-Semapur section of Eastern Central Railway (ECR) for seven hours. They demanded a halt at Durgapur between the two stations.

Since 6.30am, several trains, including Rajdhani Express and Capital Express, were detained at the stations near Durgapur in Katihar, around 310km northeast of Patna.

Durgapur is equidistant from Katihar and Semapur, about 7km northwest of Katihar. Residents have been demanding a halt but after assurances nothing has been done in this area. The residents now felt cheated.

“It is difficult for our children to attend schools or colleges in Katihar because it is expensive to go there taking other means of transport. Katihar is a centre of learning. To reach the nearest market in Katihar, we have to spend Rs 30-40. We spend more on conveyance than on food. We have demanded a halt several times but railway officials only gave us assurances,” Durgapur resident Swadhinta Devi said.

The movement of the trains resumed only after 1.45pm when divisional commercial manager of Sonepur division A.K. Tirki assured demonstrators, who came from Durgapur, Kushwaha, Sahani Tola, Naya Tola, action within a fortnight.

BMP Verma, the senior divisional commercial manager of Sonepur railway division of ECR, said: “Our additional divisional railway manager C.N. Jha has assured the demonstrators of a temporary arrangement within a fortnight. We had sent a proposal for construction of a halt at Durgapur in May. The proposal is pending with the railway board.”


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