Safety drill begins as train services to Punjab likely to resume from Monday

Inspection of railway tracks began in Punjab today under the supervision of railway authorities as the goods train services are likely to restore from Monday late night after nearly two months of suspension due to rail rook protests by farmers in the state.

Sources say the freight trains may be a given priority whereas passenger train services may resume operations from Tuesday.

Ambala divisional railway manager (DRM) GM Singh said the railway board may release a detailed train schedule on Monday.

“After nearly two-month-long train blockade in Punjab, a safety audit of tracks started today by a joint team of the government railway police of Punjab government, railway protection force and technical teams. They are examining to ensure tracks have no damage. Light engines are also put on tracks to gauge the strength of rail lines in the state,” said Singh.

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee had started the ‘rail roko’ agitation on September 24 to oppose the central farm laws. Later, various farmer unions extended their support to the rail blockade.

Sources said about 2,300 passenger trains were cancelled or diverted since farmers began the protests in September.

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On Saturday, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had announced the unanimous decision by leaders of 31 farmer unions to withdraw the ‘rail roko’ agitation.

Unions have already announced that train blockade will be lifted only for 15 days and if the centre government does not withdraw the three farm laws, they will restart the agitation.

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Ambala DRM said the railway board will take a final decision on the 15-day window notice by the farmer unions.

According to Firozpur DRM Rajesh Agarwal, the GRP authorities started issuing security clearance reports.

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