New Delhi: Union Railways and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday once again urged the Punjab government led by Captain Amarinder Singh to get the rail track and railway properties cleared of the agitators so that the national transporter can resume goods and passenger services at the earliest in the larger interest of the people.
Goyal urged the Punjab government during the high level delegation of central and state leaders representing Punjab met him here over the indefinite farmers agitation.
The meeting was attended by Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chug BJP spokesperson R.P. Singh and Punjab BJP President Ashwani Sharma here today.
The BJP leaders apprised Goyal of the dismal situation in Punjab due to the farmers agitation, which has disrupted normal life and production in farms and industries. The BJP leaders requested the Railway Minister for restoration of train services in the state as soon as possible.
The BJP leaders highlighted that ongoing farmers agitation in Punjab, especially targeting rail property has severely affected passenger and goods train services in the state for the past month. As a result the state is now experiencing a huge crunch of Coal, Fertilizer, Cement, POL, Container and Steel, adversely affecting the functioning of Thermal Power plants and other industries.
On Wednesday, the Railways said that it has lost revenue from freight to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore in view of farmers agitation at over 32 places.
A railway ministry spokesperson in a statement said the Railways continue to lose revenue as freight operations remain forcibly suspended due to the track blockages in Punjab.
"Till November 4, more than 2,225 freight rakes could not be operated upon carrying vital commodities. Loss already expected to have crossed Rs 1,200 crore already," the spokesperson said.
He said that the agitators have continued dharna at platforms and near railway tracks.
"Train movement again suspended due to operational and safety considerations as agitators have suddenly stopped some train movements and sporadic blockade continued at various places, especially around Jandiala, Nabha, Talwandi Sabo and Bathinda," he said.