Parties seek swift ferrying of stranded voters due to train engine derailment in Assam

Guwahati, Apr 26 (PTI) Nearly 150 passengers heading to Assam’s Barak Valley to cast their votes on Friday were stranded on their way due to the derailment of a train engine, while political parties sought immediate action to transport them to ensure they can exercise their franchise.

Several trains were cancelled, short-terminated or rescheduled since Thursday following the derailment of the engine of a goods train between Jatinga Lampur and New Harangajao stations under Lumding division, Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) chief spokesperson Sabyasachi De said here.

“Passengers of the trains going towards Barak Valley and Agartala that were affected were at the Lumding railway station,” De told PTI.

Movement of passengers towards their destinations was arranged by buses, and most of them left already, he said.

“Around 100-150 passengers are still at Lumding railway station and buses are reaching them shortly. Due to elections, buses had to be arranged from Guwahati, which took more time,” the spokesperson added.

He said work for the restoration of tracks was going on in full swing and is expected to be completed by 4 pm on Friday.

As polling in Silchar and Karimganj constituencies of Barak valley commenced on Friday morning and many of the passengers were on their way to cast their votes, ruling as well as opposition parties urged the railway authorities to make alternate arrangements swiftly.

“I urgently urge @ECISVEEP to intervene! Stranded voters in Silchar and Karimganj deserve special arrangements after train cancellations disrupted their travel plans. Let’s prioritize their right to vote and ensure no one is left behind in this democratic process,” leader of opposition in state Assembly Debabrata Saikia of the Congress wrote on X.

BJP spokesperson Dewan Dhruba Jyoti Maral also requested the railway authorities to ensure that the passengers can reach their destination in time so that the eligible voters are not deprived of their rights.

“We understand it is a technical issue. It is unfortunate. We appeal to the authorities to help the passengers to reach their destinations as early as possible,” he said.

Among the nine trains cancelled are Trivandrum-Silchar Express, Silchar- Guwahati Express, Agartala – Guwahati Special, Sealdah- Agartala Kanchanjunga Express and Firozpur- Agartala Express.

Seven other trains have been short-terminated and three rescheduled due to the engine derailment.

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