Guwahati: In a letter to Union Railway Minister, Piyush Goyal, Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, MP of Rajya Sabha, Assam, stated the problem of the ongoing suspension on local trains of the state and how it has affected the lives of the public in general and regular rail passengers in particular due to the non-availability of passenger trains.
Bhuyan said that the lockdown had seriously affected employees as they have to travel daily to their workplaces in towns and cities and return back home in the evening.
Moreover, it had affected farmers, petty traders and vendors who sell their products in the urban areas on daily basis; factors that helped in earning their livelihood was blocked due to the suspension of local trains in Assam.
As the local train service remains unrestored in the state, the most affected by this is the economically weaker section of the society, students and patients in Assam.
Bhuyan requested minister Goyal to resume the local train services in Assam as most people's livelihood depended on it.
Suspension of the local passenger train is still continuing in Assam, after the withdrawal of lockdown, several states have resumed the local train services including short-distance services.
On average, about 25,000 passengers commute daily on a one-way trip by the local and suburban trains.
The Assam Railway Passengers' Association has been demanding for the resumption of local train services in the state since the last month. As the services of buses and other mass transport vehicles have been resumed, the restriction on local train services only adds to the agony of the economically weaker section.
Higher bus fare compared to the much cheaper train fare is also burning holes in the pockets of passengers who normally travel by local trains.
The South Eastern Railway has resumed services of local and suburban trains in neighbouring West Bengal after suspension for seven months due to the pandemic situation.