In a strange incident of negligence, over 1500 farmers who were travelling to Maharashtra from Delhi in a special train were left stuck at Madhya Pradesh’s Banmor station after the train travelled 160 kilometres in the wrong direction. According to a report by CNN-News 18, these farmers had gone to attend Kisan Yatra in Delhi. While they were returning to New Delhi, the train took them 160 kilometres in the wrong direction, finally stopping at Madhya Pradesh’s Banmor station. Notably, even the Railways authorities are clueless about what needed to be done.
The reason behind it that is being reported is that the train was given a faulty signal after which it took the wrong route and continued to travel in that direction. Finally, the train stopped in Madhya Pradesh. Talking about the incident, a passenger said that the driver was given a wrong signal at the Mathura station which led to the goof up. “When we spoke to the driver, he said there was a wrong signal at the Mathura railway station which led to the goof up. It looks like we will reach by Thursday morning,” he said.
Thousands of farmers from across the country had on Monday gathered in the national capital to attend ‘Kisan Mukti Sansad’ or farmers’ liberation parliament, demanding a one-time total farm debt waiver and remunerative prices for their produce. A special train was arranged for the thousands of protesting farmers including 200 women and was booked by farmers from Kohlapur in Maharashtra. The train was booked for a whopping cost of Rs 39 lakh for this journey.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) November 22, 2017
As the passengers approached the station master for information, he pleaded ignorance about the route plan and declined to give them a green signal. After a delay of over one and half hour, the passengers then ran out of patience and created a ruckus by stopping a goods train.
“We left Delhi at 10pm on Tuesday and woke up at 6am to find ourselves at Banmore railway station in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. After Agra, we had to move towards Kota in Rajasthan, however, due to serious negligence by the Railways, we are now in in MP,” another passenger was quoted as saying in the report.
Railways issues clarification
Issuing a clarification on the matter, DG PR Railway Board Anil Kumar Saxena said, “The news circulating in certain sections about ‘movement of a special train for Kisan passengers between Delhi to Kolhapur’ is factually incorrect. ”
Further, the official statement read, “The correct information about this train is given below.”
“The organisers of a Kisan rally in Delhi had booked a special train on payment basis for running between Kolhapur(central Railway) to Delhi and back. The road-side stations demanded by the organisers were Karad, Miraj and Manmad in Maharashtra. Train was not headed to Kota in Rajasthan as reported in some section of Media. These special trains are run through a route which is conveniently available to the railway operation. Earlier, when this train came from Kolhapur to Delhi, it took Western Railway route namely via Nagda, Kota, Ratlam, Mathura, as it was the best route available from operation point of view at that point of time. In the return journey from Delhi to Kolhapur on Tuesday i.e. 21.11.2017, the Railway Administration found that the best path available is the Central Railway route i.e. via Mathura, Gwalior, Jhansi, Bhopal, Itarsi route. Hence, they decided to run this special train from Delhi to Kolhapur via this Central Railway route(which in any way is the natural route for these destinations). In case of such isolated special train, the trains keep moving safely through proper messages from one control to next control. The passengers might have felt confused because of the different route used in their return journey. They in any way had no reason to worry as it was to reach their destination Miraj, Karad, Manmad, Kolhapur comfortably. There was no negligence, there was no diversion, there was no unnecessary running of the train, there was no case of wrong signal, as reported in a section of media and the passengers were at no point of time stranded. It was held up for some time at station Banmore Railway Station near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh because of some path congestion problem. Once, the path became available, the train moved ahead smoothly towards its destination viz. Manmad, Karad, Miraj and Kolhapur. The train had a pantry-car where eatables were available for the passengers. The passengers may have felt some inconvenience because of some delay in the movement of the train during the journey, ” the official statement.