Administration stops vehicles, truck drivers stopped toy train at Tindharia

Truck drivers stops Darjeeling toy train at tindharia
The administration today stopped truck drivers from plying their vehicles on the railway track at Tindharia, prompting them and local people to stop a toy train and call an indefinite hunger strike.

The drivers had started running the trucks on the tracks at Tindharia, where a landslide-hit portion of NH55 has not been repaired for the past five years, as they were disgruntled with the circuitous route for the travel between Siliguri and Kurseong.
The immediate trigger for the truckers' decision to ply through the highway is the closure of Rohini Road since July 26. With the local population turning out to support the drivers' decision, it is clear that approximately 50,000 people living in the area are getting increasingly restless because of the failure to repair the highway.
Hari Karki, the president of Darjeeling Truck Drivers' Association (Kurseong unit), said: "We have endured the problem for six years. Nothing has happened so far. For how long are we to wait for this road to reopen. We will start an indefinite hunger strike here."
The association has 900 members.
Manna Trikhatri, member of the association, said: "On August 12, we organised a public meeting at this landslide stretch at Tindharia, which was attended by the local people. It was at that meeting that we decided to run our trucks through this stretch from August 16."
The local people said 200-odd trucks plied through the 100-odd meters of railways tracks to cross the landslide area yesterday. "Such was the joy among the local people when the trucks crossed the area that many drivers were garlanded and offered fruit juices. All social organisation and local people want the highway to reopen and have extended support to the drivers' association. Neither the Central and state governments nor the local politicians are serious in solving this issue," said Bhagwati Rai, a local resident.
Tindharia is over 30km from Siliguri.
"To visit Kurseong or Siliguri, we used to pay Rs 40 for a two-way trip. Now people have to pay at least Rs 100 and many students studying in these areas have left schools. Prices of commodities have also increased," said Hem Kumar Sewa, the president of the Lakshya Social Welfare Association.
The landslide had swept the DHR rail line and the road which run parallel to each other on that day. However, two years back, the DHR authorities cut the hillside, including a portion of their workshop, and created a 10ft space where the railway line was laid. It is through this space that the truckers started plying their vehicle since yesterday.
Sources in the DHR said they could not allow the trucks to ply through the stretch as it was risky and dangerous. With the railway protection force and local police stopping vehicles from plying along the stretch, a diesel engine with a coach that was going to the Tindharia workshop was stopped by the local people around 10am today.
Asked about the status of repair, Ajay Singh, executive engineer of state PWD (NH division IX), said: "The Centre sanctioned around Rs 75 crore for the repair and tender has been floated for the fourth time. There were no takers till the third tender and it is for the ministry to decide the next course of action."
Sources have said the last date of bidding for the fourth tender is August 19.
In 2013, Calcutta-based Bharat Banijya Eastern Private Limited was selected for the purpose but the Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari terminated the project in February, 2015, saying there had been no significant progress in the restoration of the road.
At the heart of the matter behind bidders' lack of interest in the tenders is the mode of construction. Sources said construction firms wanted the work to be done in the Bill of Quantity (BoQ) mode, in which separate tasks had separate estimates. "Also in the BoQ mode, a revision of estimates can be done, depending on the escalation of costs," said a PWD source.
However, in the last three tenders, work was to be done in the EPC mode. EPC stands for engineering, procurement and construction. In this mode, the contractor will have to complete the project within an agreed amount and time.(TT)

The administration today stopped truck drivers from plying their vehicles on the railway track at Tindharia, prompting them and local people to stop a toy train and call an indefinite hunger strike.

Read latest post filed under regional news

Post a Comment

We love to hear from you! What's on your mind?


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.