Faridabad: Even while Northern Railway tried to remove illegal encroachments at New Faridabad railway station in order to lay a fourth track to Agra, angry residents blocked the Mumbai-Delhi main line and attacked the Bilaspur Rajdhani Express. Although Northern Railway denied that a mob consisting of over 400 people pelted stones at Bilaspur Rajdhani, a photographic evidence shows broken windows of the AC three-tier coaches.
According to NR, the Bilaspur Rajdhani Express left New Delhi station and arrived at New Faridabad station about 4.30 pm. “We had sent a team there to remove illegal encroachments on railway land. It was very important since we have begun constructing the fourth line linking Faridabad to Agra. However, angry locals squatted on the tracks. They even laid an unused rail slab partially on the line. The train hit this slab but managed to chug forward after ten minutes. However, once the train reached Ballabgarh station, the engine developed snags. “The Rajdhani was held up for over 40 minutes here as we replaced the engine. The train proceeded on its onward journey thereafter,” said a Northern railway spokesperson.
The local GRP, however, confirmed that locals demanded an immediate halt to the anti-encroachment drive. “When the railways refused to accede to their demands, they became violent and damaged a few coaches of a Rajdhani Express,” said a senior police officer.
Encroachment, a common complaint across the city, is bleeding the railways and has stalled plans to add facilities and improve services in NCR. Be it remodeling of Delhi Cantonment station, addition of lines between Nizamuddin and Tughlakabad, laying of the fourth line between Junction Cabin and Faridabad, and the fifth and sixth lines between Tilak Bridge and New Delhi, they are all held up due to rampant encroachment on railway land, Northern Railway claimed in a statement on Tuesday.