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Indian Railways scrapping Gujarat’s Billimora-Waghai service: Protests to save lots of 107-year-old NG line

Leaders from political events have began a marketing campaign pitching towards the closure of this line. (IE)

Indian Railways Billimora-Waghai line: As many as 11 narrow-gauge routes and department strains within the state of Gujarat are more likely to be scrapped by the Western Railway. Certainly one of these narrow-gauge routes is the 107-year-old Billimora-Waghai line, which was began by Gaekwad dynasty rulers of the princely state of Baroda within the yr 1913. In accordance with an IE report, leaders from political events have began a marketing campaign pitching towards the closure of this line. The 63 km lengthy Billimora-Waghai narrow-gauge route and the 19 km lengthy Choranda-Moti Karal route are amongst these 5 railway routes the nationwide transporter had proposed to be preserved as industrial heritage within the yr 2018.

In accordance with sources quoted within the report, the Billimora-Waghai practice that runs among the many most forested routes in Gujarat was utilized for the transportation function of sag timber from deep forest areas. For about 24 years the Billimora-Waghai practice was run by a steam engine. Nonetheless, the steam engine was changed by a diesel engine within the yr 1937. The Western Railway zone, after Independence, took cost of the practice. Earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the practice which comprised of 5 coaches, made two journeys from Billimora to Waghai, overlaying 9 stations- Gandevi, Rankuwa, Chikhli, Dholikuwa, Unai, Anaval, Kala Amba, Kevdi highway, and Dungarda. The tickets for this practice service have been out there at Billimora, Unai and Waghai stations and your entire one-way journey prices Rs 15.

On December 10, a letter was issued by Mudit Chandra, govt director (Freight Advertising) of the Railway Ministry to the Western Railway GM, ordering everlasting closure of 11 uneconomic slender gauge sections and department strains of the zone. The railway strains to be closed are Nadiad-Bhadran, Kosamba-Umarpada, Boriyavi-Vadtal-Swaminarayan, Ankleshwar-Rajpipla, Jhagadiya Junction-Netrang, Samlaya Junction-Timba highway, Chhuchhapura-Tankhala, Billimora-Waghai, Chhota Udepur-Jambusar, Choranda-Moti Karal and Chandod-Malsar.

The practice service was primarily utilized by the tribals staying within the inside villages within the district of Dangs. This South Gujarat area has no highway connectivity to achieve cities like Billimora and Gandevi for work to promote their agricultural produce. The Dangs district’s craftsmen additionally used this practice service to promote their merchandise to the store keepers in these cities. Apart from, the practice service can be utilized by the scholars from inside villages to go to schools within the cities.

Quickly after Indian Railways’ announcement to scrap the practice service, a motion has been began by the newly elected BJP MLA from Dangs district, Vijay Patel, Congress MLA of Vansda within the district of Navsari, Anant Patel and a social employee of Waghai, Bipin Rawat, to restart the providers for tribals. A written illustration has been made by Patel to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal the place he has stated that the Billimora-Waghai line was the lifeline for the tribals and ideally, it must be upgraded and used for tourism. A relay of protest has been began by MLA Anant Patel at every of the railway stations on the route.

In accordance with Rawat, within the inside villages in Dangs, there aren’t any well being providers and this practice service is utilized by sufferers throughout a medical emergency to achieve the cities for medical remedy in authorities and personal hospitals. This service can be utilized by tribal individuals, who wished to go to Surat and Mumbai, to achieve Billimora railway station for additional rail connectivity through broad gauge community, the report added.

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