Nirsa MLA Arup Chatterjee (in blue shirt) along with his supporters block tracks at Kumardubi station near Dhanbad on Wednesday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Several trains, including a Shatabdi and two Rajdhanis, were held up on Wednesday for around three hours at various stations of Dhanbad and Asansol rail divisions due to a sit-in by hundreds of activists led by Nirsa MLA Arup Chatterjee.
The MLA and his men were demanding the construction of a road overbridge at Kumardubi station, 45 km from Dhanbad. They also wanted three popular trains, Dhanbad-Patna Inter City, Baidyanathdham-Ranchi Inter City and Vananchal Express, to halt at Kumardubi for passenger convenience.
Because of the protest, that started at Kumardubi station around 6.30am and was called off around 9.30am, rail traffic was severely disrupted across the two divisions.
While the New Delhi-Sealdah Rajdhani had to wait at Mugma station from 6.58am till 9.37am, the Kolkata Rajdhani was forced to halt at Kathankhanda station till around the same time.
The Howrah-Ranchi Shatabdi Express was also forced to stop at Asansol station from 8.25am till 9.33am.
According to railway PRO at Asansol Bishwanath Murmu, other trains that were forc-ed to stop were the Baidyanathdham-Ranchi Express, at Kulti station from 7.33am till 9.37am, Kamakhya-Ranchi Express at Andal station for two hours from 6.55 am, and the Dehri-on Sone Passenger, Black Diamond Express and Burdwan-Ranchi train.
Chambal Express was delayed at Dhanbad station from 6.48am to 9.35am, while the Gomoh Burdwan train was held up from 8.18am till 9.49am.
Besides, several goods trains were also held up.
MLA Chatterjee justified the protest, saying their legitimate demands were being ignored by the railways for long.
ďMy supporters and I held talks with DRM of Asansol rail division S.S. Gehlot, his juniors Ishak Khan and A. Upadhya. They told us that the tender for construction of the overbridge would be floated in a month. Also, they assured us that senior officers were looking into their demand for stops at Kumardubi for the three trains,Ē the MLA said.
The MLA and his men withdrew their protest after officials assured them of prompt redressal of their grievances.