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Tindharia Gayabari people threatens to block Darjeeling toy train if NH 55 is not restored

Tindharia Gayabari people threatens to block Darjeeling toy train if NH 55 is not restored
Tindharia Gayabari people threatens to block Darjeeling toy train if NH 55 is not restored - The world famous toy train in Darjeeling which has resumed its journey between Siliguri and Darjeeling for the last four years now fears a fresh threat, the National Highway 55 that runs parallel to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway tracks.

For, the Peoples Welfare Society (PWS), an independent wing of the people who live along the National Highway 55, have threatened to block the toy train if the reconstruction of the road is not done with immediate effect.

Nearly four years ago, the national highway and the toy train track, which often criss-crosses the road, had collapsed together. Lately, the train tracks have been restored, but the highway still remains closed to vehicular traffic.
A large protest rally was organized on Sunday by the people of Tindharia and surrounding villages demanding the reconstruction of National Highway 55 that had remained closed for the last four years.
The people under the banner of PWS have also threatened to block the Rohini Road and sit for an indefinite hunger strike to in support of their demand. Rohini Road is an alternative road for reaching Kurseong from the plains, bypassing the damaged portion of N.H. 55.
Vice president of PWS Shanti Tamang, said: “We will not allow running the toy train through National Highway 55 until the construction work is started. It has become a world record of closure of any National Highway. Since the last four years and the government is not taking any steps to reconstruct it.”
She said that the poor people depending on the tea garden and farming had to face several problems since the closure of the highway in September 2011. Prices of commodities had doubled due to transportation problem. The students who used to pay the fare of Rs 10 for going to their schools were now paying Rs 40.
Binay Chhetri said, “Being the chief minister of the state, Mamata Banerjee has not yet taken any initiative to resolve the problems. Neither did she visit the area nor listen to the grievances of the people here. Neither has Darjeeling MP S.S. Ahluwalia has taken any appropriate action after winning the election.”
GTA member of the area Prabha Chhetri also took part in Sunday’s rally. She said: “We are with the people and will fight to meet the demand. The area is turning into ‘Kalapani’ and the people of the area have started migrating to the other places due to several obstacles.”
Chhetri also informed that the matter was discussed with Unoin minister Nitin Gadkari in a recent meeting with the GTA chief Bimal Gurung and Roshan Giri at New Delhi.

Source: EOIC

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