GUWAHATI, Nov 10 � Castigating the Railways� decision to cancel one of the Dibrugarh-New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express trains for a fortnight in January on account of likelihood of heavy fog in North India, the Assam Rail Passengers� Association (ARPA) said that such a step will harm passengers from Assam and the North-east.
Dipankar Sarma, secretary of ARPA, said that such a drastic measure had never been announced by the Indian Railways earlier.
�It is strange. Why have they announced the cancellation so early without waiting to see how the weather unfolds in reality?� Sarma said.
The Indian Railways had earlier this month said that in view of the expected foggy weather conditions and to ensure railway safety, a pair of the Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani trains will be cancelled in January 2015 for a fortnight.
The 12435 Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express has been cancelled from January 2 to January 17, while the 12436 New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express has been cancelled between December 31 and January 15.
However, the other pair of Dibrugarh-New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express (12423/12424) will run as per schedule.
�The two pairs of Rajdhani trains in the Dibrugarh-New Delhi operate via two different routes. What will passengers, who have to disembark at or embark from a particular station on the route cancelled, do? Anyway, there are a very few trains from the North-east to major cities across the country. In such circumstances, cancellation of one pair of trains will cause major problems for passengers from this region,� Sarma said.
�Already, we do not have services like Duronto connect the North-east to other cities. If there is heavy fog, trains can still run a bit late. But cancelling services is not good. If one pair of Rajdhani is being cancelled, the Railways should have alternative arrangements,� he added.