Punjab Cong MPs to meet rail minister over goods-train suspension

·2-min read

Chandigarh, Nov 4 (PTI) Punjab Congress MPs will meet Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday in Delhi over the suspension of goods trains that has led to a power crisis and critical situation of essential supplies in the state.

Congress parliamentarian Amar Singh said on Wednesday that he and MPs Preneet Kaur, Jasbir Singh Gill, Santokh Chaudhary, Mohammad Sadique, Manish Tewari and Gurjeet Singh Aujla would meet Goyal.

Singh said a meeting of Congress MPs with Union Home Minister Amit Shah had also been fixed for Saturday.

The Fatehgarh Sahib MP said the parliamentarians would be raising the issue of non-operation of freight trains in the state by the Railways, saying it had hit the supplies of coal, fertiliser and other essential items.

Congress MPs have been camping in Delhi for the past few days to meet central ministers to discuss various importance issues regarding the state.

Singh pointed out that coal supplies to thermal power plants have been hit because of the suspension of goods trains.

The state-owned power utility has announced that it would impose power cuts in the wake of mismatch between the demand and the supply.

According to Singh, there is an acute shortage of urea and DAP (diammonium phosphate) for the farming sector. Around 15,000 containers of the state industry have also been stuck and the supply of gunny bags also affected, which would impact the lifting of paddy crop arriving in the grain markets.

'Railways is the lifeline of this country and we want that it should resume operations,' he told PTI.

Coal supplies to thermal power plants in Punjab have been severely affected after the Railways suspended the operation of freight trains due to the blockade of some tracks by farmers over the three new contentious legislations.

Earlier, protesting farmers had announced to allow movement of freight trains till November 5. However, the Railways later decided to extend the suspension, saying protesting farmers were still blocking the tracks. It has also been demanding that the agitators should vacate the platforms.

Congress MP Amar Singh said the MPs would also take up the issue of non-release of GST (goods and services tax) and rural development fund RDF with Shah.

The Punjab government has said it had not received Rs 10,000 crore of GST dues from the Centre since March. The Union government has also stopped the release of Rs 1,000 crore of the RDF to the state. PTI CHS VSD HMB