NEW DELHI: The rail operation in Punjab may resume from Tuesday, railway ministry source said.
Hours after Punjab chief minister announced that agitating farmers have agreed to allow operation of all passenger and freight trains from Monday, the railway ministry officially said it will take steps towards restoration of train services at the earliest after undertaking necessary maintenance checks and completing other laid down protocols.
“Railways has received communication from Government of Punjab for the resumption of both goods and passenger train services. It has been informed that tracks are now clear for train operations,” the ministry said. It tweeted, “Railways will take steps towards restoration of train services in Punjab at the earliest after undertaking necessary maintenance checks and completing other laid down protocols.”
The national transporter will have a tough task to clear the backlog of stranded rakes loaded with essential commodities including fertilizer, fuel and other petroleum products and also evacuate the huge stock of foodgrains from Punjab once the rail operation resumes.
The ministry sources said at least 3,850 freight trains could not be loaded due to the protest and over 2,350 passenger trains have been cancelled or diverted. They said 230 loaded rakes destined for Punjab were held up outside the state and another 33 loaded rakes and 96 loco are stuck in the state.