FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Oct 4: The pending works of the Silchar-Lumding BG route is yet to be completed even after more than 1 year of the mega-block which began from October 1 last year. The N F Railway authorities had assured the people of Barak Valley that passenger train services would start from the month of April, but shockingly it has been more than 6 months since the completion of the mega-block, the passenger train services have not yet been started. In the meantime, more than 150 goods trains have chugged on the newly laid track without any major accidents.
Baharul Islam Barbhuiya, chief convener, All Barak Youth Students’ Association (ABYSA), in a press-meet in its central office here today said that the railway authorities concerned seemed to have forgotten the promise they made to the people of the valley that the passenger train services will start before Durga puja. The people of the valley have waited for 19 long years for the completion and starting of BG train services but it now seems that it will take much longer time to meet the hopes and aspirations of the people.
Besides Barak Valley, this train route is the lifeline of the adjoining states of Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura. Baharul Islam said that the ventilation work in tunnel no. 9 is continuing at a sil’s pace. Even, the walkie-talkie of railway officials does not function properly in the tunnels. Criticizing the railway authorities, he said the N F railway has not worked properly in executing the project. Even the officials of Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) did not inspect the entire stretch while on an inspection.
Baharul Islam pointed out that the people of the landlocked valley and adjoining states are caught between the closed railway route and pathetic conditions of the roads and highways connecting it with the rest of the country. He alleged that the transport lobby in collusion with the railway authorities is behind the delay in starting of the passenger train services. Even the owners of private transport companies have been given contracts for the construction of the BG route. The authorities are now giving preposterous explations and lame excuses for the present imbroglio.
Baharul Islam added to say there is a strong suspicion that the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) inspection report has been manipulated. He said that the pending works should be completed on a priority basis by the authorities concerned. The people of the valley are now wondering if the railway authorities are providing them with a ‘real BG train’ or a ‘toy train’, Baharul sarcastically remarked.
Members of the student body demanded CBI inquiry into the works done by N F Railway and the contractors involved in the project. They also demanded a clarification from the railway authorities and asked, will it be possible that the passenger train services to run round the year on the diversion route? Others present on the press-meet included Nilanjan Bhowmik and Altaf Hussain Barbhuiya, members of the Association.