Banana leaves disrupt Bengal train services, Adhir blames Mamata

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 19, 2013 17:50 hrs

Kolkata, Jan 19 (IANS) Minister of State for Railways Adhir Chowdhury Saturday blamed West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee government of "inaction" following frequent disruption of train services over a vast stretch of the Eastern Railway because of banana leaves being thrown on overhead wires.

Lashing out at the Trinamool Congress government, Chowdhury told media persons: "Earlier the railways used to be an avenue for the Trinamool to grab votes. Now it no more controls the railways. So it does not want the railways to serve the people."

Train services on Baruipur-Lakshmikantapur-Namkhana section of Eastern Railway's Sealdah (South) Division were again disrupted for seven hours Saturday as banana leaves were thrown at various stations like Mathurapur, Jaynagar Majilpur, Dakshin Barasat and Gocharan.

"Though tower vans were removing banana leaves, those were again thrown on overhead wire disrupting train services on Baruipur-Lakshmimantapur-Namkhana section," said an Eastern Railway media release.

A total of 19 local trains had to be cancelled for the obstruction.

"Those who are disrupting the services, are trying to protect Trinamool's interest. I am not saying that such acts have got Banerjee's approval. But it is also a fact that the state government is not doing anything to prevent such disruptions. And this inaction on the government's part is fuelling suspcision," said Chowdhury.

The Eastern Railway, meanwhile, claimed that it has written and called up over phone the "highest level" of the state government.

"From the divisional level of Eastern Railway, the civil administration has also been contacted. They have been requested to take necessary action against this evil practice of throwing banana leaves for consecutive eight days," the ER release said.

The railway has decided to depute 100 additional Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel on the vulnerable Baruipur-Lakshmikantapur section immediately.

"Moreover, some plain-cloths RPF personnel have also been deployed. RPF dog squad has also been taken there," it said.

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