Kolkata: Even if the Gyaneshwari train incident completed one year on Saturday, the train services under south-east railway (West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa) continue to remain affected as these areas are dominated by Naxals.

Around 80 percent of the rail networks are under the control of Maoists. Due to reluctance of the Left Front and lack of security measures, the movement of night trains is still restricted.

Now, with Mamata Banerjee taking up the reins of West Bengal and Mukul Roy becoming the Minister of State for Railways, some relief is expected in this regard.

Recently, Mamata deliberated with railway officials in this connection, but it is yet to ascertain start of the night train services.

According to a senior official of south-east railways, more than 80 percent of rail lines in Dapure region fall in Naxal-dominated areas.

“Unless security of trains and tracks in the Naxal-affected areas is ensured, night train services cannot be started,” the official said.

Strong patrolling and surveillance arrangements should be made in the Naxal-dominated areas, the official added.

For this, the railways have placed more than 35, 000 anti-sabotage pandrol clips in different rail sections. These clips look normal but are difficult to open.

The railway administration is not ready to take any kind of risk.

Answering a question,the official said, “Train services cannot be resumed by making statenents or giving in writing. Passenger safety is paramount.”

Gyaneshwari train incident

Around 150 people were killed after Naxals blew Up-Line of Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari Express and 13 coaches of the train derailed in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district.

The derailed coaches fell on the adjacent track and were hit by a goods train coming from Gujarat from the opposite side.

Compensation and high level investigations were ordered after the accident. After this, the state government refrained from running night services in the so called Naxal zone of West Bengal and Jharkhand.

JPN/Bureau