Commuters protest seeking permission to board special trains in Bengaltext_fields
Several commuters blocked railway tracks at several stations in West Bengal for about three hours on Thursday, demanding that they be allowed on staff special trains amidst the pandemic.
Commuters gathered at Mallickpur, Baruipur, Sonarpur, Ghutiari Sharif and Diamond Harbour stations in the Sealdah South Division of the Eastern Railway and held demonstrations alleging that they have been facing hardships without public transport to reach their places of work. When Railway Protection Force personnel did not allow them to board staff special trains without valid documents, they started agitating at stations. While agitators flung stones at a Government Railway Police (GRP) vehicle at Mallickpur station, several refused to vacate the tracks at Ghutiari Sharif, disrupting staff special trains. After about 3 hours in the morning, the blockade was lifted following the requests of GRP.
Local trains have been non-functional since May owing to the pandemic except for staff special trains, which run for people involved in essential services.
"We have urged the state government to allow us to run more trains with COVID-19 protocols and are ready for it," a spokesman of the Eastern Railway said.