Upset with rail budget, Orissa protestors hold up trains

February 27th, 2008 - 2:58 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, Feb 27 (IANS) Train services across Orissa were disrupted for three hours Wednesday by workers of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Kalinga Sena, who said that the railway budget had neglected the state. Hundreds of activists, including members of the BJP Yuva Morcha - the youth wing of the party - staged protests across the state and sat on railway lines, preventing the movement of trains, M.D. Sahu, an official of the south eastern railway, told IANS.

The activists rushed to railway stations at Balasore, Ganjam, Khordha, Kalahandi and Berhampur early morning and stopped all trains, he said.

“The protest lasted for three hours and several trains have been delayed,” said Yuva Morcha state president Bibhudutta Jena.

“Last year the railway minister had promised to introduce a Garib Rath in Orissa but it never materialised,” Jena said.

The state has been allocated only Rs.9.72 billion against the demand of Rs.13 billion, he pointed out.

“It is inadequate. The railway minister has not given attention to the genuine demands of backward southern and western parts of the state,” Jena said.

BJD and Kalinga Sena activists also staged demonstrations at railway stations across the state.

Railway officials said 20 trains were running behind schedule and the Bhubaneswar-Vishakapatnam Inter City Express had been cancelled for the day.

Trains that were delayed include the Palasa-Bhubaneswar passenger train, the Cuttack-Paradeep, Bhubaneswar-Khalikot and the Berhampur-Bhadrak trains.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also termed the railway budget for 2008-09 presented Tuesday as “disappointing for Orissa”.

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