Telangana ‘rail roko’

After a two-day shutdown, Telangana is now bracing for a two-day rail blockade which threatens to cut off rail links between south and north India.

A major disruption of trains is feared as the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) will block rail traffic on Friday and Saturday demanding the central government initiate the process for formation of a separate state of Telangana.

The movement of trains across the region, comprising 10 districts including Hyderabad, may come to a halt.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Bharatiya Janata Party and several other political and non-political constituents of JAC have geared up to block rail traffic, calling it a ‘rail roko’.

The protest, which was announced three days ago, may hit over 200 trains which criss-cross Telangana every day. The local trains in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are also likely to be affected.

JAC expects participation of half a million people in the ‘rail roko’ on over 1,000 km railway line in the region. It has also appealed to Congress and Telugu Desam Party members of parliament and legislators, who resigned enmasse, to participate in ‘rail roko’.

South Central Railway, which has its headquarters here, is expected to make an announcement Thursday evening about cancellations, diversions and other changes in the train schedules.

A two-day shutdown Tuesday and Wednesday crippled normal life in the region and brought road transport to a standstill. Buoyed by this, JAC has chalked out plans to make the rail blockade a success.

Chief Secretary S.V. Prasad held a meeting with Director General of Police Dinesh Reddy and railway officials Wednesday night to finalise an action plan.

The Railway Protection Force has been asked to start surveillance of the railway lines much before the ‘rail roko’ begins and the state police have assured all assistance for this purpose.

The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has decided to operate additional buses in view of the rail blockade.

The state-owned corporation will operate 150 buses between Hyderabad and Vijayawada. APSRTC officials said they would also run additional buses from Hyderabad to Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar and Medak districts.(IANS)


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