Hunger strike at Dhamara station by Bhojpuri singer moves Railways

24bhrStrike_173615Dhamara (Khagaria): Bhojpuri singer Sunil Chhaila Bihari’s hunger strike, it seems, was not in vain. The railways on Wednesday gave in to some of the artiste’s demand paving the way for the safety of travellers.

The railways would upgrade the Dhamara Ghat railway station soon. Under the scheme, platform number one would be revamped and expanded to 450m, while another one would be constructed. In absence of power, solar-powered lights would be arranged to complete fencing work. A public address system has also been installed to warn travellers about the arrival and departure of trains. In the pipeline are a small passenger shed and a foot overbridge.

“We are working to fulfill the demands of those sitting on the hunger strike. We would construct two platforms, fencing would be done, solar lights would be installed. We would also build a small passenger shed. If required, we would consider constructing a rake point (rake goods shed),” said the senior divisional commercial manager of Samastipur rail division of East Central Railway, M.A. Humayun.

The railway official said: “We have not received any file from the state government demanding a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the construction of road and river bridge between Badla Ghat railway station in Khagaria and Kopadia railway station in Saharsa district. If we do get such an application demanding, we would consider it.”

The Bhojpuri singer on fast is not yielding yet. He said: “I am under medical supervision as my health has gradually deteriorated. A team of government doctors advised me to consume saline water. I refuse to eat anything till our demand of the road is met.”  He says that the victims killed in the accident are poor and innocent villagers.  Many passengers come to Dhamara Ghat to visit Katyayini Maayi temple.  However neither the Railways nor the State Government considered any facilities in Dhamara which led to gruesome accident recently that killed 40 people, most of them women and children.

The artiste, who shot to fame with his Pyar ke Bukhar album in 1996, said he would continue his hunger strike. He had launched his protest at the site of the Dhamara Ghat tragedy, last week.

The state wing of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is also extending its support to the singer. Eight members, including Mithlanchal in-charge Victor Jha, are also accompanying him in his protest.

Jha said: “We would continue our hunger strike till the state government lays the foundation stone for a road between Kopadia and Badla Ghat railway stations. Dhamara Ghat railway station, about 181km northeast of Patna, lies on the stretch of Kopadia-Badla Ghat section of railway.”

He added: “Two days earlier, Khagaria deputy development commissioner Suresh Chaudhary met us demanding an end to the strike saying the government has prepared a detailed project report for construction of road and river bridge between Kopadia and Badla Ghat railway stations.”