Transporters from Suratkal and Mangaluru fume as Ro-Ro Freight Train gets stuck at Sawantwadi

MANGALURU: Entrepreneurs and transporters in Suratkal and Mangaluru are fuming as the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd’s (KRCL) Ro-Ro freight service carrying their goods-laden trucks has been stranded at Sawantwadi since Wednesday.

The Ro-Ro (roll-on-roll-off) service between Kolad and Suratkal (721 km) with 80-100 trucks left Mumbai on Wednesday. Customers were expecting the delivery on Thursday, but were surprised that there was no sign of the freight train. They claimed that there was no proper response from the railways.

When contacted, KRCL Chief Public Relations Officer L K Verma initally claimed that he had no knowledge about when the Ro-Ro freight service left Mumbai. However, after making enquiries with officials he told Express, “The ro-ro service is stranded at Sawantwadi railway station due to the absence of crew. The trucks are likely to be delivered at Suratkal on Saturday or Sunday night.’’

Entrepreneur Sashidar Shetty said, “Using the telephone numbers available on the official website, I contacted Karwar, Ankola, Murudeshwara, Kumta, Bhatkal and finally Surathkal railway stations. None of the staff picked up the phone. When I contacted Mangalore Central Railway Station, the staff who answered the phone knew only Malayalam and I could not understand what he was saying.”