Nuagaon Mayurbhanj Road (NMBR): Members of Mayurbhanj Railway Travellers’ Forum have threatened to launch indefinite rail roko at Baripada station from January 9 in protest against step-motherly attitude of South Eastern Railway (SER) authorities towards development of railway infrastructure in the tribal dominated district.
The call was given after a meeting of the Forum members and the locals. Vice-president of the Forum Kishore Kumar Kar said it has been decided to start the agitation after a recent meeting with the SER authorities failed to yield any result.
“The meeting was held with Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Goutam Banerjee in the presence of other senior officials, but it failed to resolve the issues. We have decided to stage the rail roko at Baripada station on January 9 to highlight our long pending demands,” he said. Resentment is brewing among people for step-motherly attitude of the railway authorities. The negligence meted out to Rupsa-Baripada-Bangiriposi section which comes under Kharagpur division is continuing despite their repeated pleas.
Deploring lack of basic amenities and facilities at Baripada railway station, a local Sisusankar Jena said it was no less than a nightmare for the passengers depending on the station. “Passengers face problems due to frequent link failure at the ticket booking counter.
The pathetic condition of the platforms has been causing inconvenience to the passengers, particularly the elderly, women and children,” he said. The Forum members demanded augmentation of facilities and lengthening of existing platforms to accommodate the coaches of trains like Bangriposi-Bhubaneswar superfast express.
“The platform of Baripada station must be extended so that additional coaches can be accommodated without any inconvenience. Installation of display board on fare and seat availability, digital clock and CCTV camera at ticket booking counters are our other major demands,” Kar added.
Meanwhile, people have demanded plying of more trains and preservation of century old toy steam engine at Baripada station.
“We also want conversion of Betnoti station to a crossing station for punctual timing of trains in Rupsa-Baripada-Bangriposi section,” they said besides demanding change in departure time of Baripada-Shalimar Similipal Intercity Express from Baripada and running of this train on daily basis instead of tri-weekly.