Closure of routes: Rail blockade at Basirhat Stn
Kolkata: Local residents put up rail block at Basirhat station in Sealdah-Hasnabad section to protest against the Centre's proposal to shut down eight train routes including that of Barasat-Basirhat which as railways claimed were incurring huge losses.
Hundreds of people gathered at Basirhat station from early Monday morning shouting slogans against the Centre's directive. They put up blockades at the station resulting in disruption of train services. Many of the Barasat and Sealdah-bound passengers looked for other options to reach their respective destinations.
The demonstration was lifted after half-an-hour. Some of the local Trinamool Congress leaders have raised questions over this anti-people decision which would affect hundreds. They asked as to why the Centre was not trying to explore other ways to generate more revenue along these routes. Instead of that, they were trying to shut down train services.
The services resumed after the demonstration was lifted. It may be mentioned that Eastern Railway had written to state Chief Secretary Malay De that they are incurring losses along these routes and the state government should share the burden of the loss borne by the ER.
The routes where the services maybe stalled include Sonarpur–Canning, Baruipur- Namkhana, Kalyani-Kalyani Simanta, Burdwan-Katwa, Bhimgarh-Palashkhali, Burdwan-Katwa, Ballygunge Budge Budge, Barasat-Hasnabad and Santipur–Nabadwipghat.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her reaction earlier, lashed out at the Indian Railway's proposal, terming it as a step-motherly attitude of the Centre towards Bengal.
It is humiliating for our state and the government will not tolerate this, the Chief Minister warned.
Following the incident, Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee threatened to organise bigger movement against the Centre on the city's streets if the proposal to shut down train services in as many as eight routes in the state was not addressed within January 31. He also called the incident as a result of political vendetta.