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Unscheduled stoppages of trains in Bihar to be cancelled
‘Lalu halt’ comes under check
Sanjay Singh
Tribune News Service

Patna, May 31
With Lalu Prasad Yadav out of the Railway Ministry, it is time for Railway officials to put a check on many of his “whimsical” orders particularly pertaining to unscheduled stoppages of superfast and express trains in Bihar.

The former Railway Minister had allowed so many stoppages of important trains in his home state that people generally referred them as “Lalu halt”.

Soon after the change of guard in the Railway Ministry, the East-Central Railway issued an order cancelling stoppage of 17trains at 33 small stations and halts in Bihar, which were not viable. All these trains were made to stop at these stations during Lalu’s tenure as the Railways Minister.

Interestingly, the former minister had also given verbal orders for stoppage of a couple of trains at such unscheduled stoppage after the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, ostensibly, to please voters of that area.

Taking a serious exception to this practice, the Railway Board has now sought explanation from the authorities concerned in the ECR for allowing unscheduled stoppage of Bapudham Express (Motihari to Gujarat) at Bagaha station and Sapt Kranti Express (Muzaffarpur to New Delhi) at Motipur and Harinagar railway stations under Samastipur and Sonepur railway divisions.

Sources in the railways indicated that the fate of mega railway projects initiated by Lalu in his Lok Sabha constituency -Saran (Chhapra) and Madhepura-may hang in balance due to financial crunch.

However, new Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee would take the final decision on the issue.

The Railway Board had initially decided to have these projects in public-private-partnership (PPP) and they also invited interested parties for the same. But only one private firm had shown interest in it.

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