Railways inspects tracks in Punjab as services set to resume today

Railway officials began inspection of railway tracks in Punjab on Sunday after farmer’s groups agreed to suspend their rail roko protests against the Centre’s new farm laws.

According to officials familiar with the matter, freight trains are likely to be given priority with operations restarting on Monday night. Passenger trains will likely start from Tuesday, the officials said.

Ambala divisional railway manager (DRM) GM Singh said the railway board will release a detailed train schedule on Monday. “After nearly two-month-long train blockade in Punjab, a safety audit of tracks started today (Sunday) by a joint team of the government railway police of Punjab government, railway protection force and technical teams. They are examining to ensure tracks have no damage. Light engines are also put on tracks to gauge the strength of rail lines in the state,” said Singh.

The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee had started its railway blockade on September 24 to oppose the central farm laws with several farmer unions later extending their support to the agitation.

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said about 2,300 passenger trains were cancelled or diverted amid the protest.

On Saturday, chief minister Amarinder Singh had announced that leaders of 31 farmers unions had unanimously decided to suspend the blockade.

According to Ferozepur DRM Rajesh Agarwal, railway department officials have started issuing security clearance reports for resumption of services. “These reports contain inspection details confirming that no protesters are sitting in the vicinity of the tracks, on station premises or near the railway property across the state. Once the necessary safety and security protocols are completed, the railways may restore services in less than 24 hours,” he said.

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