Border industry in Amritsar agitated over Indian Railway authorities new norms

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Amritsar, May 11 (ANI): The industrial units, existing in the border areas, have held their own significance for a long time. But off late they have turned an agitated lot following some new rules and regulations of the Railway authorities here.

Textile manufacturing and processing industry, brick Industry, paper Industries in Amritsar are among those who extensively consume the coal to run their units due to power crises in the state.

In 2007, due to big congestion, the Railways discontinued unloading of coal at the Amritsar railway station and opened Fatehgarh Churian Railway siding to handle coal.

The facility once started at Fatehgarh Churian not only boosted the industry but also influenced the local economy of the Fatehgarh Churian village, as it has also generated employment for the local villagers.

But these units now blame the Railway authorities for discouraging the industry to use Fatehgarh Churian Railway siding which has been of major convenience to the border industrial units here.

The industrial units' grudge is due to a new rule of the Railways authorities here following which the authorites will charge six times the rates of 'Penal penalty', if the coal is not unloaded from the Railway wagons or removed from the Railway premises within nine hours.

Just a few days ago, the Railways ordered for closer of the coal yard abruptly at the Fatehgarh Churian Railway Siding, that was also a source of livelihood for over 10,000 people here.

Following interference of some senior political leaders and industrial pressure, the Railways gave them interim relief by opening this station for unloading the coal, however, with new conditions. Talking to ANI, Vishvash Chobhe, DRM , Indian Railways, said, the railways has imposed the penal penalty just to expedite the unloading of the wagons.

Whereas Chobhe was unable to explain why the Railways has been unable to falicitate the industry by providing them specified area for the unloading of coal and other items.

M. S. Khurana, a coal merchant and commission agent, informed that they have been getting approximately 8000 meteric tonnesof coal per month to Amritsar and its adjoining areas.

He said that if Railways doesn't want to continue Fatehgarh Churian Railway siding, then they must offer any other option that should be convenient to the industry.

Suneet Kochar, Director Khanna Paper Mills Limited said that he fails to understand why the Railways is discouraging the industry of Amritsar to grow.

Kochal appealed to the Railways to continue their support to industry without adding to their woes.

Partap Singh Bajwa, a Member of Parliament while expressing his gratitude to the Chairman of the Indian Railway Board for re-opening of the Fatehgarh Churian Railway siding, said that he would take up the matter with the concerned authorities to rectify the problems being faced by the Border industry here. By Ravinder Singh Robin(ANI)

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