HAFLONG, Jan 12 � Quintals of goods are regularly sent by trains to other destinations without railway booking following which the NF Railway under Lumding division is incurring a huge revenue loss due to the absence of freight coaches.
Sources alleged that the railway authorities which are responsible for booking the goods are busy in earning money for themselves.
The Hill Queen train which runs between Lumding-Lower Haflong and is the only train for the people of Dima Hasao areas always remains loaded with huge quantity of goods including essential commodities causing inconvenience to the travelling passengers.
Gopal Das, a vegetable vendor said more than hundred vendors are earning their livelihood by importing vegetables from Lumding to Haflong for sale. Due to the absence of luggage van in the Hill Queen train they have to bring the goods in the passenger coaches. He also said they have to pay Rs 500 to 600 per bag to the GRP, ARP, TC, train cleaners etc., right from Lumding to Lower Haflong. �We have demanded an attachment of the luggage van but the Railway department has ignored our request�, Das added.
There are three pairs of trains namely Agartala Express, Barak Valley and Cachar Express which run between Lumding-Agartala and Lumding � Silchar. The railway provides four general coaches in each train apart from the reserved compartment out of which the Army keeps one and two coaches are kept for escort duty. Only one coach remains for the passengers where more than 400 passengers travel every day.
As per guidelines the three armed escorts should travel in one coach in each train. But the on duty escorts allow the passengers to enter in the escort coach and collect money which is never deposited in the railway revenue, sources alleged.