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Plea to revise train timings

Jorhat, July 21: The Jorhat Bikash Committee, an organisation that has been involved in trying to improve the communications network in the Upper Assam districts, has raised fresh demands pertaining to a change in train timings and the running of trains by Northeast Frontier Railways.

In a letter to the divisional railway manager, NFR, Tinsukia, the committee said though the railway authorities had extended the Mariani-Jorhat-Furkating local train to Dimapur since February, passengers travelling in the Dimapur Up passenger train were facing problems.

This was because of prolonged detention near the Bhalukmora station so that the Down Mariani-Jorhat town Kamakhya daily inter-city express could cross at the Bhalukmora station.

Niranjan Jain, the president of the committee, said the difference between the timings of both the trains was thin. More often than not the timings clashed at the Bhalukmora station if there was slight delay of either of the trains with preference being given to the Kamakhya Inter-city.

The committee suggested that the trains could cross at Jorhat instead, where there were double tracks and more than one platform.

It said the departure of the Kamakhya Inter-city could also be advanced to 2pm from the present 2.40pm. It demanded that the departure of the Mariani-Jorhat-Golaghat to Guwahati Inter-city Express be changed from the existing 4.03am to 5.30am or 6am.

“At present, the Inter-city express leaves Mariani at 3.30 in the morning and arrives at Jorhat at 3.58am and departs at 4.03am. People find it difficult to find transportation to the catch the train so early. Rickshaws and autorickshaws take advantage of this and seek exorbitant rates from the passengers. In winter, 3am or 3.30am is an unearthly hour and many fail to catch the train,” Jain said.

The committee said if the timing was changed from September 1 this would result in increased revenue for the railways. It also sought an extension of the popular Inter-city Express (05605/05606) from Dibrugarh station to Dibrugarh town station for daily commuters, who otherwise have to take another mode of transport to reach their workplaces and shell out more money in the process.

The railway manager was again requested to attach AC two-tier and AC three-tier coaches to the Mariani-Jorhat-Guwahati Kamakhya Inter-city Express as discussed during his visit to Jorhat in February this year.

They reiterated the demand for a mail express train directly from Jorhat to Calcutta, a demand which the railways was not responding to, and should be acceded before the Durga Puja holidays.

The committee demanded an extension of the Jorhat railway station to Garali on one side so that it could accommodate 24 coaches of a train instead of the present 22.