Monday, 30th October 2017

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Travel & trade tumble in tumult

Trucks to northeast halted on border, train services suspended

By Our Correspondent in Alipurduar
  • Published 15.12.19, 12:35 AM
  • Updated 15.12.19, 12:35 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Passengers at the New Jalpaiguri station near Siliguri on Saturday. Picture by Passang Yolmo

The violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Assam and Bengal have affected road and train traffic and trade in north Bengal.

Train services to Northeast have been affected, buses are not running between Bengal and Assam and the local economy in districts like Alipurduar and Cooch Behar, which share the border with Assam, suffered a setback.

At the interstate border near Barobisha, hundreds of trucks which were heading for Northeast have been left stranded for a stretch of 10km for the past couple of days.

“Hundreds of truck drivers and helpers are spending days under open sky. There is no public toilet in the area (Barobisha), which added to the problem. Further, many of the trucks are carrying perishable commodities and they will have to be dumped if the situation doesn’t change,” said a source in the administration.

In fact, the situation has reached such an extent that the Alipurduar district administration has asked Northeast-bound trucks to stop at some other locations.

The halt in train services complicated the situation. On one hand, passengers travelling to northeast have been stuck at some stations of north Bengal. On the other hand, passengers in north Bengal who take trains which originate from Northeast to reach different locations of the country have to look for alternative options.

In New Alipurduar station, around 50 people who were heading to Agartala, were stranded since Thursday evening after the Agartala-bound Kanchenjungha Express was stopped.

Swapan Ghosh, a stranded passenger, said: “We have been here since Thursday and have no idea when we would be able to reach Agartala.”

Around 10 mail and express trains scheduled to leave Calcutta on Sunday have already been cancelled. Railway officials said the list could be updated later.

Some of the cancelled trains are:

Sealdah-New Alipurduar Teesta Torsa Express

Howrah-Malda-Howrah Intercity Express

Kolkata (Chitpore)-Radhikapur Express

Sealdah-Saharsa Hate Bazare Express

Howrah-Katihar Express

Kolkata-Guwahati Garib Rath Express