KARNATAKA

BJP stops trains at Belgaum to press its demands

Improvement of services at railway station, extension of trains sought

Staff Correspondent

BELGAUM: The city and district units of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday resorted to a "rail roko" agitation in protest against the long-pending demands on improvement in services at the Belgaum railway station.

The protest was led by the MP, Suresh C. Angadi, the district unit president, Irappa Kadadi, and youth leader Sanjeev Hanamsagar.

The agitators stopped the Bangalore-Kolhapur (Train No.6589) Rani Chennamma Express and Miraj-Londa Passenger (Train No.1631) for 40 minutes.

Ironically, the strength of the police personnel present and onlookers was much more than the agitators. Though Mr.Angadi had on an earlier occasion announced to involve all parties in the collective fight for the solutions on issues and problems of public interest, Saturday's agitation was carried out under the BJP banner.

Mr. Angadi and other party leaders submitted a memorandum to the Divisional Railway Manager, South-Western Railway, Hubli, through the Belgaum Station Master. The memorandum demanded change in timings of Rani Chennamma Express; restoration of Miraj-Vasco Express, Bangalore-Mumbai Mahalaxmi Express (which was existing prior to gauge conversion); extension of Bangalore-Hubli Inter-City express to Belgaum; exclusive sleeper coach for Kolhapur-Tirupati Haripriya Express; air-conditioned/cold storage facility for transportation of flowers from Belgaum to New Delhi; additional coach to Miraj-Londa and Miraj-Hubli passengers for transportation of vegetables, and modernisation of Belgaum railway station.

Mr. Angadi demanded the opening of three more reservation counters and extension counters at important places in the city. There should be separate counters for senior citizens and defence personnel in view of the location of the Regimental centre of Maratha Light Infantry. He said the counter opened at Goa Ves is not convenient. Reserved tickets are being sold in black, he alleged.

In addition to these, he said, the construction of an overbridge at the three level-crossings in Tilakwadi area should be taken up, to cope up with the heavy vehicular traffic.

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