The residents of Prantij in Sabarkantha district, led by their BJP MP Dr Mahendrasinh Chauhan, are planning to go on an indefinite strike from June 6, protesting against their railway station being degraded to a mere flag station.
Part of Ahmedabad-Prantij Railway, the station was set up 118 years ago in 1895 and is now reduced to a mere flag station, said Dr Chauhan.
With this station being degraded, its importance and the stoppage time have been reduced considerably, said Dr Chauhan. “Earlier, when it was a crossing station, trains would halt for at least 15 to 20 minutes enabling people to carry on and develop their businesses. But now it has been made into D category, businesses in local and surrounding areas will suffer,” he said.
“We will not let this happen and start our indefinite strike with support from local businessmen and even railway employees to get the decision of the authorities reverted,” he said.
The station has been shut down (degraded) since May 21 this year and made into a “flag station” which means there will be no crossing of trains any more.
When contacted, Ahmedabad Divisional Railway Manager Alok Kumar Tiwari said he had one round of meeting with Dr Chauhan and tried to convince him that this would not cause any inconvenience to residents. “I have had one meeting with Dr Chauhan and we are waiting for their next move,” said Tiwari.
He said the term “shutting down” did not affect or impact the interface with general public because “it is a technical term which would not hit any train movement. There are 10 trains passing from Prantij. Earlier they would cross each other while passing from here but now it being made into a flag station, one train each will pass at a time from here in either direction…this will reduce requirement of staff who can be deployed elsewhere more profitably,” he said.