Rail blockade by NGOs in Mizoram and Assam hit train movement in NE

सिलचर Silchar (SCL): Mizoram, the eastern-most state of the country has been virtually cut-off from other states in terms of railway connectivity for over a week now following a rail blockade by a couple of NGOs both in Mizoram and certain areas of Assam.

Mizoram is connected to Assam via the 103-km Silchar- Bhairabi MG railway route under the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).

NFR sources on Sunday said owing to the agitations, the 52567 Silchar-Bhairabi Passenger train now plies between Silchar and Lala Bazar stations in Assam and the goods train that used to run between Silchar and Bhairabi (Mizoram) thrice in a week is now plying between Silchar and Hailakandi stations.

Young Mizo Association (YMA), a Mizoram-based NGO has been agitating in Bhairabi station for two consecutive days early this week seeking rescheduling of timing of the lone passenger train connecting Mizoram with rest of the country and also a little change in the route. Again, the Railway Passengers Rights Preservation Committee (RPRPC), an Assam-based NGO, started another protest by stopping the train at Lala Bazar station in Hailakandi district of Assam only to prevent it from reaching Mizoram. RPRPC wants that the present train schedule and the route remain unchanged for the convenience of the passengers.

Sources said while YMA has withdrawn its agitation, the Hailakandi-based NGO continues to stop the trains at Lala Bazar station since last Thursday. This has compelled the NFR authorities to ply the train between Silchar and Lala Bazar until situation turns normal.

RPRPC functionary Govinda Lal Chatterjee said until YMA withdraws its demand the blockade will continue. Chatterjee also alleged that the Assamese traders, who visit Mizoram regularly, are facing harassment. The disruption of train services on the route has left the passengers and the traders’ community in trouble, the source added.